Thursday, February 7, 2013
Growing up, summer meant freshly dug baby spuds... baby spuds cooked with mint. Scratch that, baby spuds cooked with mint and smothered with lashings of butter! To me there is nothing quite as memory-inducing as the smell of minty spuds cooking and it's something I've often wondered about. Why is it that only the fresh baby spuds get the special mint treatment? I mean why don't the mid-winter potatoes get such royal treatment? This I will never know, I guess it's just how it's always been, or so my Nana once said when I questioned her on the subject.
While our current vege garden is nowhere near what we once had back home in NZ (Perth's sandy soil and extremely hot temperatures are hard work!) I make the most of our local farmers market every weekend to stock up on all my fruit and vegetables we don't have growing out back (which after the last tomato-killing storm passed through is basically everything bar the silverbeet and herbs). It was last weekend that I spotted these beautiful little organic babies. I couldn't help myself and bought a kilo and a half. The first night we enjoyed them simply cooked, with mint of course and the non-negotiable pat of butter on top. By the second night my mind had turned to something else. A cold potato salad, beefed up with extra mint and a creamy yoghurt dressing in place of the more common mayonnaise-based one.
The dressing can be tweaked and changed to suit your own personal preferences. You could bump up the lemony flavour by adding in a little lemon zest. Love chilli? By all means add a little pinch of chilli flakes or a finely chopped green one, I know I would have had the kids not been eating this too. Oh who am I kidding, Kye didn't even go near this. He's the fussy one of my two. Ada on the other hand gobbled it down with great gusto. Speaking of the boy, we have survived his first day of school, with only one major fit of tears (mine and his). Today, his fourth day was greeted with smiles and bravery. No tears and one happy mama.
P.S Like the new look? It's something I've been wanting to do for years and I'm super happy with it!
baby potato salad with minted yoghurt dressing
I wanted to originally add a few teaspoons of tahini to the dressing to give it more body, but go figure, had none left when I looked in the fridge! Instead I used 2 teaspoons of lightly toasted sesame seeds that I ground in my mortar and pestle until fine. It worked perfectly. You can use either.
Serves 4-6 as a side
1kg baby potatoes, scrubbed
a handful of mint leaves
minted yoghurt dressing
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
the juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons tahini (or finely ground toasted sesame seeds)
1/2 teaspoon unrefined raw sugar
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
finely sliced red onion + fresh mint leaves to serve, optional
Place potatoes, mint and a good pinch of sea salt into a medium saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until tender (this time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes, but will most probably take between 20-35 mins). Drain off water (discard mint leaves) and set aside partially covered until cool.
Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine, taste and season well.
To serve pile cooled potatoes into a serving bowl, drizzle with minted yoghurt dressing and top with finely sliced red onion + mint leaves, if using. Serve immediately. Can be prepared in advance and stored separately in the fridge, but I'd just dress right before serving.
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