"What some call the “humble” spud, I think of as the most versatile, ever-surprising and flexible of vegetables. ... Even zooming in on one world, as I do today with potato salad, merely opens new worlds of possibility, texture and flavour." Yotam Ottolenghi
It's Friday and the day The Guardian's Word of Mouth newsletter lands in my inbox. Always a source of inspiration.
Today I am a bit short of time. It's been a busy day, so I just started to read through it looking for that inspiration, and my eye was caught by this gorgeous looking potato salad. It was so gorgeous looking to my eyes that I wanted to rush out and try it straight away, or better yet, create an occasion at which I could serve it.
Now I'm a bit conservative with potato salad. I always do it the same - potatoes, onions, bacon and boiled egg, with parsley and a vinaigrette. And I do love it, but you know I might give this one a go for the Grand Easter Egg Hunt lunch with the extended family.
It's called: Potato salad with charred tomato and orange salsa and it's a Yotam Ottolenghi invention, inspired he says by Sikil P'ak which is a Mayan/ Mexican salsa from the Yucatan peninsular. The link is to a recipe in the online foodie magazine Saveur. As you can see, like hummus it is somewhat unprepossessing looking, but judging by the number of recipes there are on the net, I'm guessing it tastes good:
"It’s spent generations getting shuffled to the back corner of the appetizer table because of its plain and unassuming appearance; a victim of untrained palates in an image-conscious world." Mexican Please
These days, of course, you have food stylists who can make the most brown/beige sludgy food look appetising. You just need the right bowl and a bit of artful swirling, dipping and drizzling and it looks wonderful.
But I digress slightly. The salsa is basically pumpkin seeds, plus tomatoes, chilli and coriander. Ottolenghi has taken this a step further, by adding orange, cumin and maple syrup and doing a bit of grilling - or should I say charring - mixing and scattering. Anyway I thought it looked wonderful and I can't wait to try it. Not sure what I shall do about the domestic chilli problem, but then I guess I could also provide alternative dishes.
Maybe I should try his other potato salad offering instead. Too much work to do them both I think. This one is Nepalese potato salad. Well it's Nepalese, because the recipe came from a Nepalese friend. Well that was the starting point -' tangy tamarind and fresh coriander' - but then he "[let] my team play around with it." Which is interesting in itself in that it's a team effort not an Ottolenghi effort although it doubtless required Ottolenghi approval. This one's simpler and only has mild green chillies in it, plus nigella, mustard and sesame seeds. Another interesting take on the potato salad thing anyway. Old recipes given a very modern and trendy twist.
I'll let you know if I made it and how it turned out if I did.