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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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!..

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

yum

My tiny little balcony garden gave me a gift, recently.

tomaters

A bunch of tiny, perfect tomatoes.

I wanted to enjoy them at their ripest and freshest, so what else could I do but make them into a salad?

This recipe is a sort of non-recipe, by the way. If you aren’t frightened by measuring in handfuls and splashes, read on.

salad

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

1 pint (ish) of tomatoes
4 or 5 inches of cucumber, sliced
One thin slice of sweet red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley
Salt and pepper

If the tomatoes are large, chop them into pieces. Cherry tomatoes may be halved or left whole. Combine them in a bowl with the cucumber slices, garlic and chopped red onion. Sprinkle herbs onto the vegetables; if you are using dried herbs, use a small amount, a tsp or less. Fresh herbs may be used in a large quantity, such as a tablespoon or two each. Drizzle olive oil and splashes of vinegar over the salad, and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix, and then taste to see if you need to adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or chill to let the flavours mingle.

Tip: The red wine vinegar may be replaced with another, such as balsamic vinegar. You may also replace it with lemon juice, or add some lemon juice in addition to the vinegar.

Tip: Stick with Italian herbs for this salad; basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and rosemary would all be good choices.

Tip: If your tomatoes aren’t very sweet, a sprinkle of sugar will perk them up and cut the acidity a bit.