If you roamed earth at the same time as Marcia Brady, fondue and teak veneer, then you would not be blamed for recoiling in horror at the mere mention of potato salad. Often appearing as unrecognisable dice submerged in mayonnaise or impossibly white cubes hailing straight from the can, early potato salads loomed large in glass bowls on buffets and at barbeques alike. Thankfully there was always a plethora of buttered bread-stick from which to extract ones ‘carbs’ allowing the menacing PS to be skilfully avoided.
Fortunately as we grew up, so did potato salad. In latter years it has been permitted to appear at the table wearing its skin and now dressed rather than drowned in mayonnaise. It now invites its friend texture along – so the salami crisps herself up for the occasion. And to ensure the two do not become so visually entangled as to merge into one, fresh aunt parsley attends in her contrasting manner as a wonderful chaperone for the dish.
Like us, ps has improved tremendously with age, so this weekend, build a giant bowl and treat everyone to some grown-up fare.
red-skinned potatoes (eg Desiree) – enough to fill a large bowl
a 250g whole pepperoni salami
1/2 a 235g jar of Thomy mayonnaise
juice of a lemon
cracked sea salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch continental parsley, roughly chopped
Put unpeeled potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until tender (but not falling apart).
Drain and cut into small chunks and place in large serving bowl.
Thinly slice the salami and cut these slices in half (you may only need half of the salami).
Pan fry the salami until crisp. Drain on paper towel and then add to potatoes.
Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper and stir this dressing through the potato and salami mix.
Stir through the parsley and serve warm.
Postscript: serve your ps with the grill or barbeque of your choice but if you can rid your home of occupants, it’s the perfect solo fork and bowl couch meal.
A meal drawn together from store cupboard items, with a few fresh ingredients thrown in, is financially, nutritionally and palatably rewarding.
Think of all of the delicious treats that a deli offers, and you basically have the running sheet for this dish. With a couple of chorizo sausages on hand in the freezer and a healthy patch of parsley in the garden, this is my go to on a busy week night.
The crowing glory of this pasta pull-together is that is tastes even better after a night spent sealed up in the refrigerator. So prepare it the night before, and just as you land in the door on the following evening, right before it’s time to drive away again for the night shuttle service, a sumptuous meal awaits.
300g penne pasta (or whatever is you prefer/have on hand)
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
1/2 jar sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
handful pitted black olives, sliced in half
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
small block of feta
generous bunch of continental parsley, chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Fill a large pot with salted hot water and bring to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions on pack.
- Meanwhile add a dash of olive oil to a large frying pan and brown the chorizo on both sides.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and pan fry for 5-10 minutes, with a liberal dousing of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Add contents of frying pan to pasta and mix through. Crumble feta over the top and mix again.
- Serve with extra parsley as garnish.
Postscript: You’ll notice that the quantities in this recipe are a bit ‘loose’. This is how I construct it and I’m sure you will give it your own twist.
A freshly gathered bunch of herbs exudes every bit as much beauty as a posy of its floral relatives.
Aside from their culinary use, herbal cuttings serve as sturdy backdrops for floral arrangements – and providing the water is replenished, do so with incredible staying power. Their robust nature and depth of colour gives the floral heads prominance and easy positioning. Simple flowers such as nasturtiums, lavender and daisies are offset beautifully by rosemary and parsley. Dahlias and mint are another prime example:
A collection of cuttings in the kitchen is refreshing to the eye and can be snipped at as recipes across the week call for sprigs, bunches and garnishes. Case in point, this week we were the fortunate recipients of a lovely fresh snapper, reeled in by a fishing acquaintance. After scoring the skin, we massaged the catch with olive oil and sea salt. The final rub down was a herbal concoction made in the pestle and mortar – oregano and thyme with a splash of olive oil to bind.
The fragrantly coated fish was then securely wrapped in foil and baked in a 180 degrees celsius oven for 45 minutes. The result, a lovely succulent fish served with a feta and olive salad. This is not a difficult exercise and if you have a good local fishmonger, you can have a nice fish feast on your table requiring little more that 10 minutes preparation plus cooking time (make the salad while it bakes).
Postscript: There is a combination of five different herbs pictured above – can you identify them all? Clue – see tags…