Garlicky Purple Potato Salad

I have always wanted to try cooking with purple potatoes. I finally got my chance!

Yesterday I stopped at a market here in Surrey called Two Ees Farm, and was amazed by the variety of local produce, organic products, and imported foods. I loaded up on everything from Canadian-grown quinoa to jars of apple stroop and rosehip jam.

But for me, the really exciting thing was finding a bin of purple potatoes with navy blue skin. I bought a bag of them and I already knew what I wanted to make with them; a multi-coloured potato salad with a creamy garlicky dressing.

purple potato salad

Garlicky Purple Potato Salad

3 purple potatoes
3 red-skin potatoes

Boil the potatoes whole in salted water until fork-tender, about 20 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

Make the dressing. Mix together:

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of vegenaise “mayo”
1 – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used a microplane grater which grates the garlic almost to a puree. Note: Only use the second clove of garlic if you really, really, REALLY love garlic)
1/4 tsp dried dill
1 green onion, green and white parts sliced finely
Salt and pepper to taste

Gently toss the potatoes and dressing together.

Next time I make this I plan to add more lemon juice or some olive oil to thin the dressing out more for easier mixing. However, even as thick as the dressing was, this salad was still delicious.

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Oliver’s Roasted Butternut Curry

Several of my friends and I have this game we sometimes play called “What should I make for dinner?”

Actually, it’s less of a game and more of a desperate plea for help, but regardless. Today I found myself coming to my friend Oliver with that question when I discovered that I was out of the ingredients I wanted to use to make soup, and was otherwise at a loss as to what to do with a butternut squash. “Why don’t you roast it with some potatos and make a coconut curry sauce with lots of cumin?” was Oliver’s brilliant reply. In just over an hour I was ladelling up a bowl of a deliciously fragrant curry with tender juicy vegetables nestled up to creamy chunks of roasted squash. I was in heaven.

And so, Oliver, I name this recipe for you. I was going to call it Oliver’s Sexy Squash but I wasn’t sure if that would affect my blog’s family-friendly status 🙂

Oliver's squash curry

Oliver’s Roasted Butternut Curry

1 butternut squash
2 red skin potatos
Peanut oil
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece of ginger
1/4 cup onion
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dash of turmeric
1 small can (160 ml) coconut milk
1 tsp curry powder
1/3 cup broccoli
1/3 cup mushrooms

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle some peanut oil onto the tinfoil.

Peel the butternut squash, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds and guts. Discard them, or rinse and save the seeds for another use. Chop the squash into pieces about an inch or two square. Peel the potatos and chop those into pieces about the same size as the squash.

Place the squash and potatos on the baking sheet and stir gently, drizzling more peanut oil on top if necessary. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper.

Put the pan in the oven and let the squash and potatos roast until tender and lightly browned. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir them every 15 – 20 minutes so as not to burn them.

While the squash and potatos are roasting, mince the garlic and ginger and put into a frying pan or wok with another drizzle of peanut oil. Slice the onion and add this to the pan as well. While the aromatics are heating up, start adding spices; mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric. Fry gently until the aromatics are starting to soften and the seeds are starting to pop. Add the coconut milk and about 50 ml of water. Turn the heat up and add the broccoli, chopped, and the mushrooms (whole if small or halved if a little larger).

When the coconut milk starts to bubble, add the curry powder, a dash each of salt, pepper, and cumin powder, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. You can turn the heat down if it starts to thicken too quickly.

When the roasted vegetables are tender, remove them from the oven and add them to the curry. Cook the curry until the sauce has thickened and the broccoli is tender/firm.

Enjoy with rice or flatbread.

Croatian Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Yep, this is another “Kay goes to Food Not Bombs at Occupy Vancouver” post. After all, it takes more than a pile of sandwiches to feed a crowd of hungry protestors.

I’ve been down to the V.A.G. three times now to take photographs and to help feed people. One of the volunteers I spoke to on the food committee estimated that about 2000 meals a day are being served out of the food tent. That’s amazing! Some of the food is made on site, but much of the food is also being made in private kitchens as well as spaces lent to us by local businesses and churches. The on-site kitchen, meanwhile, continues to grow and improve; when I went this morning, it had mysteriously sprouted a kitchen sink, a counter top, and what appears to be an ice box. This in addition to the pantry and kitchen equipment. And when I inquired about whether one person oversaw the construction of the community kitchen, the answer I received was amazing; everything just came together. Many individuals saw ways they could help and brought or built what they could.

And of course, speaking of people bringing what they can, there have been many amazing food donations; people dropping off pots of soup and chili, platters of noodles, trays of cornbread, muffins, plates of brownies, bags of cookies, and so much fresh produce! I estimate that as of this morning they had at least my weight in broccoli – by now though it has probably mostly been made into stir fries and consumed.

Here is the potato salad that I brought the other day:

potato salad

I call it Croatian-style potato salad because my family is Croatian and we’ve always made our potato salad with herbs and a vinaigrette instead of mayo. I don’t typically measure anything when I make it; I tend to just eyeball the amounts and taste it to see if it’s good (and of course it’s always better the next day). So for this Food Not Bombs post, I’ll give you the recipe as a general guideline (which I think fits nicely with the anarchic sort of structure of Food Not Bombs). In the future I will try to quantify amounts for you so I can give a proper recipe!

Croatian-style Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Potatos. Lots and lots of potatos.
Vinegar (apple cider vinegar is tastiest but red wine vinegar and ordinary white vinegar also work. If you use balsamic, use less vinegar!)
Onion
Dill
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Wash the potatos and peel them if they have ruddy skin. If they have smooth skin, you can peel them or not depending on your preference.

Cut the potatos into pieces about 1 inch square, and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly.

In a bowl or measuring cup, mix one part vinegar to 2 parts oil. Whisk until emulsified. Pour over the potatos.

Take either a bunch (5 or 6) of green onions and chop them, or one slice of sweet onion and mince it. Scatter the onions over the potatos. Take a handful each of parsley and dill, mince those, and scatter those on the potatos as well. Finally, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika. Give it a stir, give it a taste, add more seasoning if it needs it, and there ya go! Easy and delicious potato salad. You can also add boiled green beans to this if you want.

Try not to stir it too much or the potatos will break down a lot! You can sprinkle a little sugar on it if you like your vinaigrette a little sweet, but with the apple cider vinegar I don’t think it needs it. Enjoy!

Here is another photo from the demonstration. There are a lot of people camping out!

If you have an Occupy demonstration happening near you and want to help out somehow, this is a message that is circulating on facebook:

THE TEMPERATURE IS DROPPING! SPUDS FOR BUDS: LOVE APPEAL. Please stick 20 baked potatoes wrapped in foil in the oven for an hour and a half at 350F before you leave. Drop them off at the food tent. THEY MAKE EXCELLENT HAND AND POCKET WARMERS as well as providing much needed nourishment – If you don’t have time to cook them, drop them off raw. If you live locally come pick up the raw ones and bake them. WE ARE FEEDING THE HOMELESS TOO!!!! PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH OTHER OCCUPY PAGES!..