Potato salad: the age old stand by for casual parties, barbecues, family dinners. A bad one is bland and dull and very uninspiring. A good one though can be a fabulous addition to a menu.
I love this one because it has a bit of spice, some un-potato-salad-like flavours, and the homemade aoli is gorgeous. It is worth the effort to make your own – and it really is easy.
- 1.5 kg baby potatoes
- 125 g pepperoni
- 2/3 c well drained sun dried tomatoes
- 4 T pine nuts, toasted
Boil the potatoes until just cooked and cut into large chunks. Cut pepperoni into thin slivers and dice the tomatoes. Gently mix all ingredients together.
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 c grapeseed oil
- 1/2 c finely chopped fresh basil.
Beat egg yolks, garlic and juice in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in the oil, initially a few drops at a time. Once you’ve added about 1/3 of the oil, you can add the remainder in a fine stream as you beat the mixture. Stir in the basil.
Adapted from Salads / Australian Women’s Weekly. Sydney: AWW Home Library, 1992.
Salsa is one of my favourite dips. It is a great spring time dip – so fresh and light. It is also fabulously versatile because you can use it as an accompaniment to so many dishes.
- 6 large tomatores
- 1 red capsicum
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 T finely diced onions
- 2 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 c fresh coriander, chopped
- olive oil
Brush oven tray with oil and preheat oven to 200C. Chop tomatoes and capscums into quarters, and peel and slice the garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft. Chop tomatoes and capsicum into small chunks. Finely chop garlic.
Place 0nion and celery in large saucepan and saute in 1 T olive oil until cooked through. Reduce heat to low, and add cumin and enough water to keep ingredients from sticking to the pan. Add tomato mix to pan. Add coriander to the pan and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
Once cool, serve with plain corn chips or chopped vegetables (cauliflower is especially good).
You know those weekends when you overdo it? It starts on Friday when you have a wine after work to wind down, and next thing you know there is a pile of wine bottles empty on the table. Saturday morning comes. You get up at the crack of dawn to take those beloved offspring to whatever sport starts 3 hours earlier than you need to be awake, your head is pounding and your belly rumbles ominously. You swear you will never drink again. But then at about 3 o’clock you start thinking hair of the dog is what you need to feel better, and then a couple of buddies pop over, and next thing you know you have another bigger pile of wine bottles empty on the table. Sunday morning is even scarier than Saturday, but thankfully the little sprogs have no sport on Sundays. After a few hours of agony you start thinking about hair of the dog again. What you really need is a serious health hit. Something to expunge all those toxins and reinstate some lost vitamins and minerals. This is when I make this tomato soup.
Recipes abound for tomato soup, and I have tried lots of them, but this one is so fresh and light I can’t go past it. Wal calls it his liquid energy pellet.
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, (crushed or grated)
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 t yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 t tumeric
- 1 t sweet paprika (can also use hot)
- 2 T plain flour
- 1 T honey
- 3 c chicken stock (homemade is best, but any stock works)
- 400 g can tomatoes
- 1 kg fresh tomatoes. chopped
- 4 T dried red lentils
- sour cream and parsley to serve
Saute onions, garlic and celery in oil, when onions start to become translucent, add spices and flour. Mix well and add 1 cup of water as bottom of pan starts to become sticky. Add remaining ingredients, and cook on low for at least an hour. The s0up cooks quickly but needs time for the flavours to infuse. The lentils are important because they break down and help to provide body to the soup, but if you don’t have any you can add a chopped potato. Blenderizing the soup is optional, I do it sometimes, but if you chop the ingredients finely it has a good texture as is. Serve with sour cream (or cottage cheese) and a generous topping of parsley and warm bread or toast. Don’t have a wine with dinner.