Thursday, November 4, 2010

The BEST Baked Potato Salad

Li Li is here, and it just means that every week we will spend some time creating good home-made meals using our loyal salad spinner and mini-oven. This also means that I have a chance to turn ideas into reality, like this warm pumpkin salad and this easiest cherry tomato salad.

This wonderful baked potato salad is another result of a multitude of concepts in my mind after watching an obscene amount of food-related shows on telly these days (most current craze being Top Chef). To make things less complicated for all of you, I am essentially breaking this recipe down into 3 simple mini dishes, and at the end of the day you just have to put them altogether and tuck in! The stated ingredients feed 2 hungry people.

1. The base of this salad is of course, baked potatoes, to make this, you need:
  • 4 large potatoes, washed, cut into cubes and seasoned with
  • dried rosemary
  • paprika powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a dash of balsamic vinegar (which is another backbone of this dish)
  • medium-grade olive oil (do not use extra virgin for baking!)
You need to bake the potatoes at approximately 200degC for 40minutes until nice and soft.

2. I like my salads to have a non-veg element, a carb and of course, greens. I believe you can use any salad leaf, but I recommend rocket, basil or watercress, which in this case, I again chose my favourite- rocket:
  • 100g of wild rocket, washed and then dried with a salad spinner
  • a dressing of 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 9 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (1 part acid 3 parts oil), plus some salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Just toss the rocket with the dressing and it is good to go.

3. This is what I have been wanting to do for a long time, a very nice and sweet salsa-like baked sweet pepper salad. This is what I consider as the X-factor for the dish, and it's not very convenient to make, but here goes:
  • 3 bell peppers or ora, preferably with different colours so that the salsa turns out pretty, kept whole
  • medium-grade olive oil to sprinkle over the peppers before baking
  • for dressing at the end, you will need a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, some salt and black pepper plus a good tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
The key to this dish is to literally burn the peppers in the oven until they are wilted, hence forcing out all the natural sweetness in them. They also become really soft and fluffy, like over-ripe peaches. After baking them for about half an hour (or more if you find them not soft enough) at 200degC, remove their skins and seeds, leaving only the flesh. Tear the flesh into nice 7mm (approximately) strips and dress them, you're ready!

Before I proceed to plating, which is the easiest thing if you have taken the trouble to complete all of the above, I'd like to introduce the non-veg element of this dish.

Smoked Salmon! I added 2 large pcs per serving, however, you can go vegan and do without this, or you can go the sinful indulgence way of frying some steaky bacon/pancetta to complete the meal.

Finally, plate the salad with all the goodies you have already prepared.

The Best Potato Salad!

With a final cracking of black peppercorns, here's the final result.

Spear your fork through a tiny bit of everything and enjoy yourself.

This is my proudest creation yet, do try this at home and I am sure you will not regret!

1 comment:

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