My husband recently went on a business trip to Greece, and on his way out the door he asked me if there was anything I wanted him to get for me. ‘A summer house on an island’ was my immediate answer. While I knew that the possibility of my wish being granted was rather remote (shall we say ‘nil’), I still thought I should get it out there and see what happens.
Needless to say, my husband did not return from his 3-day trip with a set of keys to my dream house, but he got me the next best thing. Three bottles of Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If I can’t own a piece of the land, then I am more than happy to eat something that grew from it.
I love Greek food, especially now that it’s getting warmer. Baked potatoes are starting to lose their charm in Dubai’s 44° Celsius (111° Fahrenheit) heat, so a nice cooling potato salad makes a welcome change. I whipped this one up recently as a side dish for dinner using Greek Tzatziki as the dressing for some lovely waxy baby potatoes. It tastes even better on the second day!
TZATZIKI POTATO SALAD
(Serves 6-8 as a side dish)
1 kg / 2 lb waxy baby potatoes
Half a large cucumber
3 spring onions / scallions
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and grated/minced
300 mL / 1 & 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
- To make the potatoes, bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Prepare your potatoes by washing them to remove all traces of dirt, trimming any growths, and then cutting into quarters (should be bite-size pieces).
- Once the water has boiled, add 1-2 Tbsp of salt to the water and then the potatoes. Simmer for about 8 minutes until the potatoes are tender and cooked but not falling apart. Drain and allow to cool.
- Take 3 spring onions / scallions, and remove the outer leaf of each one. Wash them well and then slice them finely into small (use about 3/4 of the length of the spring onion, discarding the top 1/4 green part). Set aside.
- Get 2 garlic cloves, peel them and grate or mince them. I use the fine side of my cheese-grater. Set aside.
- Take half a large cucumber and grate it on the coarse side of a cheese grater. Remove the liquid from the grated cucumber by placing it in a fine mesh colander and pressing out the liquid over a sink. Alternatively, you can just pick the grated cucumber in your hands and squeeze it over the sink to remove the liquid. Do not use a kitchen towel to try and squeeze out the liquid because it will beak and a lot of the cucumber will stick to it.
- In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and spring onions. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. It should be quite flavorful at this point because once you add the potatoes the flavor will get slightly covered. If the potatoes are not yet cool enough to add, refrigerate the dressing.
- Once the potatoes are room temperature, fold them into the dressing taking care not to break the potatoes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, upto 48 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before you plan on serving to remove the chill.