I love potatoes and anything that is made with potatoes, from Russian potato salad to tortilla Española to Belgian pommes frites to campfire potatoes. Now that we have a fireplace – the second best thing you can have in the winter, a clothes dryer is first! – we roast them quite often.
Potatoes may not be as sophisticated as artichokes but they comfort like the 100% down comforter we bought last week at Ikea. Oh, by the way: We moved again! (in Mallorca!) We moved from our apartment in the old town of Palma to a cute Mallorquine townhouse in a beautiful village in the mountains (Serra De Tramountana), only twenty minutes away from Palma and ten degrees colder.
One of my favorites ways to cook and eat potatoes is to simply boil them with eggs until the potatoes are tender and the eggs are hard boiled. Then I remove the skins and shells, put them on a plate, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, mush them together and eat them. (My mother makes this dish on the day of the Sedder- Passover. The reason she made this dish was to keep us full for many hours, so we could bear reading the Hagada until it was time to eat). Plain and simple but so damn satisfying.
Another way, which I discovered and adopted last summer, is a simple herb and potato salad similar to one I first tasted in Tel Aviv. It was at a restaurant called Port Saeed, which is owned by Eval Shani, one of Israel’s top chefs. The salad reminded me how much I love the combination of potatoes and a good (slightly bitter, fruity and peppery) olive oil. The potatoes and the olive oil are both slightly sweet and earthy; perfect together.
Just like most potato salads, this one tastes better the next day. You can make it with one or as many herbs as you like. For a delicious, packed with protein, non-vegan version– add chopped anchovies or sardines (If you do, be gentle with the salt).
Potato Salad with Herbs Serves 4 as a side
It’s better to use small or medium waxy potatoes (with smooth skin) because they are moist, creamy and have a mildly sweet flavor. I normally make 5 – 10 potatoes per person, depending on their size. If they are a little bigger than a walnut, I’ll eat 8. If they are the size of a kiwi then 5. And somedays, I can eat a whole bowl of this salad by myself. Decide for yourself how many you would like to make.
- 20 small or medium waxy potatoes
- Handful parsley
- Handful cilantro
- 2 scallions (green part only)
- Any herbs you like such as dill, parsley, cilantro, scallion, basil, oregano
- Half lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh chili pepper – optional
- Sea salt
- Rinse and gently scrub the potatoes. Put them in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until very tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and transfer them into a bowl large enough for tossing.
- Soak the herbs in water (preferably filtered) for a a couple of minutes to remove any dirt, then drain and dry them in a salad spinner, or with a kitchen towel. Roughly chop them and add them to the salad bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the potatoes, add the olive oil, chili pepper and salt and toss. The potatoes should get smashed while being tossed as this help them to absorb the flavors.
- Taste and add salt or lemon juice if needed.
You may also add: toasted nuts, thinly sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or small pieces of preserved lemon.