Let’s talk about potatoes. I am a picky potato consumer. My mother is Danish and my father Tasmanian (i.e. two of the biggest potato-based cuisines on earth), so as a youngster there were a lot of potato-related dinner time issues. Luckily I have matured and come to realise that it is not that I don’t like potatoes, just that I am particular about the type of potato and how it’s carbohydrate laden beauty is prepared in a dish.
My rules aren’t complex: I like potatoes that have flavour: Kipflers, Dutch Creams, ‘New Potatoes’, and Royal Blue are among my favourites.
I am not a fan of boiled potatoes at all. I love buttery, piled high on the plate mashed potatoes and crispy-skinned roast potatoes. Potato salad and I used to have a loving relationship, but now the thought of mayonnaise coated potatoes makes my stomach turn.
See – not a potato hater, just a picky potato consumer.
This warm potato ‘salad’ is more like a potato sauté. The potatoes are first cooked until just firm, but not crunchy, then they join a host of other vegetables and the final flourish is provided by fresh basil, crunchy pine nuts, and a coating of crumbled feta.
I piled my plate high with this salad for dinner and Chris paired his with some grilled lamb chops. By the way, this man has a secret talent for food styling – just check out his artfully arranged lamb chops.
Hot Kipfler Potato, Capsicum, and Basil Salad
If you cannot find Kipflers, or already have some other potatoes hanging around the house, you can substitute another kind of potato. Preferably a potato that hold up well and doesn’t turn to mush when cooked – try Coliban, Desiree, or ‘New’ Potatoes.
Serves 2-3. Easily multiplied.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 medium kipfler potatoes (about 750 gram total)
- 1 medium red capsicum
- 1 cup button mushrooms
- 1 small brown onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Large handful basil leaves, torn
- 75 grams Greek fetta, crumbled
- Salt and black pepper
- Scrub potatoes very well to remove all the dirt. This is important as we are leaving the skin on. Slice potatoes into rounds about 1.5-2 cm thick. Place in a large microwave-safe container. Add about 2cm of water in the bottom. Cook for 10 minutes on ‘High’ in the microwave stirring halfway.
- If potatoes are still a little crunchy in the middle microwave for a further 2 minutes. Once cooked drain very well and reserve until needed.
- While your potatoes are cooking prepare capsicum by slicing in half, removing core and seeds, and halving again and thinly slicing. Quarter button mushrooms, and thinly slice the onion. Peel and crush garlic.
- In a large fry pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat. Add capsicum, mushroom, garlic, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the capsicum has softened.
- Add potatoes, remaining oil, and pine nuts and cook until potatoes are starting to crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle basil leaves and crumbled feta on top and serve.
- This is delicious re-heated the second day as well.
This dinner is perfect if you are busily preparing for the end of the working/school year and just want something healthy, simple, and delicious for dinner. Naturally gluten free, vegetarian, vegan (if you leave out the feta), and hearty enough for the omnivorous there is something for the whole family to like.
Tell me dear reader, are you a potato lover?