You may have noticed that things have been a little slow here at The Sweetest Kitchen lately. I apologize for that, but things have been busy here – all due to my children, who have ballet rehearsals and ballet concerts, or preschool concerts and preschool Christmas parties, or preschool orientations. During a break in these activities, I’d like to share with a recipe I found in the December 2010 issue of MasterChef Australia magazine. It’s so simple and makes a perfect side dish for any grilled meat.
This is a twist on your average potato salad – there is no mayonnaise to be found in this recipe. The dressing is a mix of olive oil, finely chopped kalamata olives, parsley and garlic. The potatoes are boiled, then fried cut-side down in a frying pan (or chargrill pan, if you have one) and finally the potatoes are tossed in the dressing and watercress is stirred through. It’s best served while the potatoes are still warm, but it also tasted great straight from the refrigerator as well.
If you hate olives and are for some reason still reading this post, don’t be put off this recipe. I don’t like olives either, but believe it or not, while you can definitely taste the olives in a bite of this salad, they’re not so prominent. My 5-year-old daughter won’t come within 5 feet of an olive, so I didn’t tell her there were olives in this salad, and you know what? She absolutely loved every bite!
My salad looks a bit messy, and it looks neat and tidy in the photo in the magazine! The original recipe asks that you chargrill the cut-side of the potatoes so you get black lines on the potatoes, which makes it look even more inviting to eat. Next time you’re thinking about serving potato salad, try this one instead for something different!
Potato & Olive Salad
Adapted from MasterChef Australia magazine, December 2010
800g (about 9 small) chat potatoes
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra to brush
100g (about 20) kalamata olives, pitted, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups watercress sprigs (I only used about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water; bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain; cool for 5 minutes, then cut in half lengthwise. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine oil, olives, parsley and garlic in a large bowl and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Preheat a barbecue, chargrill pan, or frying pan to medium-high. Lightly brush the cut sides of the potatoes with oil, then cook for 2 minutes each side or until charred/browned. Immediately add the potatoes to the olive mixture and toss well to combine. Stir through watercress. Serve warm.