Okay so let’s talk about potato salad. It can be really really gross if you get it from Safeway or someone’s well meaning grandmother and it’s basically mayonnaise with a few suspicious lumps floating in it. Homemade American style, ideally (how I do it) jazzed up with mostly sour cream and hardboiled eggs can be good.
But man oh man, the best everrrrrrrr is my mom’s Greek potato salad.
It is so. freakin. delicious. And it is SO. FREAKIN. SIMPLE.
What it comes down to is this: olive oil is delicious.
Thus, that is the source of most of the flavor. Just boil some potatoes (whole) til fork tender, then wait til they’re tolerable and cut them into thin slices. Then, WHILE STILL WARM (important), dress them with fresh herbs (we used oregano and chives from the deck and rosemary), pepper (lots) and salt, and OLIVE OIL. And red wine vinegar. 2:1 ratio on the olive oil. And don’t skimp.
It is so simple and SO DELICIOUS. Greek potato salad ftw.
Also, hilarious, like mother like daughter: I brought my olive oil home from school cause I still had like half a bottle and that stuff’s expensive! I’ve been on a mission to finish it up (though my mom keeps forgetting and using HER olive oil). We finally did it, but lest we waste the last little teaspoon at the bottom, my mom jerry-rigged this amusing arrangement on the counter:
Draining upside down, propped between the dish soap and the sponges. Love it.
Dinner also included our old friends, baby pickled eggplants!
And finally, now that I’m done with the plants, the main course: recycled lamb.
We still have a tonnnnnn of lamb leftover from Easter in the freezer, and I have been hunting for creative things to do with leftover cooked lamb (if anyone has any ideas, feel free to contribute, although it seems many readers are vegetarians. I’m definitely thinking about this).
For last night, I decided to (sort of) go with the technique described in this recipe: I tossed 1 pound of lamb (already cooked and minced) with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of fresh rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander and let those flavors soak in for a few hours. Then I tossed the meat with 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1 large egg, and some of the cooking water from the potatoes. Then I formed them into balls and broiled them 4 minutes on one side (I would’ve flipped them but… they did not so much hold together hahahaha. This photo is only of the pretty ones!).
Easy tzaziki: seed half a cucumber, then chop it, salt it, and let it sit on some paper towels for awhile to let the water drain. Then I mixed it with the last of some plain yogurt (1/2 cup?) and some labneh (1/2 tbsp?) to thicken it, plus salt and pepper and (forgot til after I’d taken this picture!) about 1/2 tsp fresh dill.
Easy and delicious Mediterranean feast. My (first) plate:
I definitely recommend making the yogurt sauce, because although the meat is really flavorful and tender, it’s just not as moist when you’re making meatballs out of precooked meat, so it’s nice having the sauce.
Confession: real, authentic Greek meatballs (keftedes) are traditionally (and deliciously) made by frying them in olive oil. And then you serve them with pasta with browned butter and parmesan. It’s a heart attack of a meal, but it’s blisssssss.
Speaking of bliss:
As I’ve previously mentioned, my church has a large Lebanese immigrant population- it means coffee hour often features blissfully delicious hummus, za’atar bread, and Arabic pastries.
What I lovey love love, though, are the occasional fundraiser sales they have for the church where they sell spinach or (in yesterday’s case) meat pies.
The pies above are made with delicious beef, spices, and pine nuts in a hot, yeasty crust. No words. So delish!
To accompany them, I made another winner from The Philosopher’s Kitchen: kale in coriander sauce.
So easy, so delish: you sautee shallots in olive oil, then add vinegar, honey, and coriander to make a sauce, and sautee kale in it. Ten minutes, tops.
The Philosopher’s Kitchen is a seriously boss cookbook and I am beyond flattered that I actually inspired the lovely Astra Libris over at Food for Laughter to buy it! I think the cookbook’s author definitely owes me :D No no I jest. I owe her. Cookbook is GOOD.
On a related note, Food For Laughter is seriously amazing- a radiantly optimistic blogger who creates intensely mouthwatering recipes interspersed with amazing anecdotes about her life as a psychiatric nurse. Seriously, check it out.