There is a reason that you don’t see many salads on this blog. To be honest, my creativity with salads is limited, to say the least. My vegetable intake is usually raw as part of a dish (cucumber & carrot sticks, rice paper rolls, lettuce leaf wraps) or just a bunch of vegetables from the crisper of the fridge tossed together with a little home-made dressing tossed over the top.
It is for reasons like these that, whilst people are eager to have me be responsible for the entree, mains or dessert, I am never ever put on salad duty. Its not to say that I don’t eat salads – I love ‘em (mostly when prepared by others), its just that when *I* make them, they very obviously say “here’s the veggies I found in my fridge – enjoy!”
This even extends to the humble potato salad. Though you may think this is simple, I unfortunately grew up with my mother’s bastardized version made for Asian tastebuds (I’m sorry, but I cannot stomach Korean/Japanese mayo or ketchup. Absolutely wretched – blegh!) which had me forever thinking that potato salad was just a dish that I hated. This was until a few years ago, when I had the fortune to try a fantastic potato salad at a barbeque – when I tasted it, my eyes literally rolled back so much that my then boyfriend asked me if I was alright. All I could do was grab his arm and tell him that I needed to find the person who made this so I could get the recipe from them.
Unfortunately, I proceeded to get completely toasted that night, and barely managed to sit up straight, nevermind talk coherently about potato salad (though I think I did try), and never did find the recipe for this particular dish.
Anyway, it made me realize that a potato salad could be a damn fine thing if you just treated it with a bit of respect, and that was exactly the thought I had when I was browsing the aisles of my local supermarket to stumble across some adorable little kipfler potatoes.
Having a bit of a thing for all things cute (beware if you walk your dog anywhere near me, I will happily bound across the road and get on my knees to say hello to strange dogs, much to the bemusement of their owners), I immediately piled about half a kilo into a bag and tossed them into my trolley. Though I’d never cooked with them before, I’d enjoyed them many times while eating out, and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try to make a potato salad!
After my shopping was done, I made it home and started to put away the groceries when my mother emerged from her room to help. She picked up the bag of potatoes and poked them quizzically, before turning to me and asking me what they were.
“Mother…they’re potatoes. Can’t you tell?”
“Well they don’t look like any potatoes I’ve ever seen!”
“What do you mean? They’re small, firm, tubers, with eyes and roots like potatoes have…”
“Yes, but what kind of potato is all small and weird-shaped like this??”
I took the potatoes off her and quickly shooed her out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, with the way my mother asks questions, if I didn’t get her out now then I’d be stuck for another half hour answering all manner of questions on their history (I don’t know), what country they’re from (I don’t know) and what cuisine used them the most (I DON’T FREAKING KNOW!).
With ingredients that are foreign to her, the best approach is to just present them to her in a dish that she can eat, which will just result in a yay or nay verdict.
Anyway, once I’d put away the rest of the groceries and was ready to start my potato salad journey, I hopped onto the ‘net to try and find a recipe for a potato salad that featured kipflers. After some searching I found one at Haalo‘s site which sounded quite good, so I decided to give it a whirl (with a few additions that mostly had to do with what I had in the kitchen – I’d just gotten back from grocery shopping, I wasn’t too keen on going back out for one or two things!)
The end verdict? Quite delicious! I still find potato salad quite stodgy and am unable to have more than a few bites, but the lemony dressing here really helps to cut through the richness and yet its flavoursome enough that you don’t feel wanting for anything else.
Most importantly, this salad is so good that I think I just might volunteer myself for salad duty for the next group barbeque
Warm Kipfler Potato Salad w/ Lemon Mustard Dressing
(Adapted from Haalo)
400g Kipfler potatoes
Â½ lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 spring onions, finely chopped
50ml olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 â€“ 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1-2 rashers bacon (lean, trimmed of skin and the white fatty bits), finely diced
1. Scrub the potatoes well and give them a good rinse to remove all the dirt. Chop off any particularly manky bits or large eyes, then prick them all over with a fork. Put them into the microwave for about 6-8 minutes, or till almost completely cooked. Cut the potatoes into bit-size pieces and set aside.
2. Heat a frying pan with just a smidge of oil, then toss in the diced bacon with the garlic and fry till the bacon pieces have crisped up. Add the potato, salt and pepper (you really shouldn’t need any salt thanks to the bacon) to taste and fry till the potato has cooked through and picked up a bit of colour, no more than a few minutes. Remove the potato/bacon mixture to a bowl, then toss the spring onion through.
3. In a small bowl, put the lemon juice and mustard, a grinding of pepper and salt. Whisk these together until amalgamated, then begin to slowly trickle in the oil (similar technique to making mayonnaise). You are looking for the dressing to emulsify and thicken.
4. Arrange the salad onto a plate, then carefully and somewhat evenly drizzle the dressing over the top. Serve warm.
[tags]potato salad, dressing, salads, recipes, kipfler, potatoes[/tags]