Posted on August 17, 2015
Potatoes aside for just a minute.
I must tell you of my experiments with beetroot, and how this purple coloured root vegetable makes the most wonderful chips.
I’ve discovered that drying thin slices of beetroot in the dehydrator before frying them removes a great deal of the unwanted moisture. This is a good thing. Once semi dried, they only need a quick flash in a pan of hot oil and they crisp up fast. Therefore absorbing less oil, therefore staying on the lighter side of healthy.
The colours and patterns alone of the beetroot chips are so pretty and worthy of cooking just even for a look. The taste was better than any i’ve ever brought in a packet. All they needed was a light sprinkle sea salt. Wow! Delicious!
I’ve also been practicing root-to-stem eating with beetroot. Instead of tossing the stems in the compost i’ve been cooking and eating them. Mind you, be sure to wash them well and remove all that dirt and grit before cooking.
I’ve had them two ways. The first was simmered in a fish curry, the stems being added towards the end of cooking. The second experiment, I sautéed them in coconut oil and ate them in a warm salad. The taste is reminiscent of a strong flavoured spinach. The stem holds it’s firmness, even after cooking, and has a light beetroot taste.
But lets get back to spicing up potato salad. Do you like your potatoes packed with flavour? I do.
This is far from the conventional mayonnaise based salad that most people have in their repertoire. This little beauty uses fresh turmeric added to the potatoes before boiling so the colour leaches out and stains the potatoes a vibrant yellow. It’s flavoured with coriander seeds, cumin seeds and nigella seeds, which are all roasted off in a pan first to best release their flavour.
The great all-rounder potato for me are desiree. The flavour is good and the flesh light and fluffy.
Here are four simple tips when boiling potatoes:
- Start them from cold water.
- Cook them with a large pinch of salt.
- Don’t overcook them, 8-10 minutes after the water boils should be plenty of time.
- Let them drain for a few minutes in the colander so the steam drys them out after cooking. They will be perfect every time.
To add to the spicing up of a normally rather dull vegetable, fried onions are added, coriander root, cooked red quinoa and dollops of yoghurt and lemon juice.
Each time I make this salad my head starts to nod of it’s own accord. I cheer the brilliance of turmerics soft gentle flavour and what roasted spices can do here. And yoghurt for that mater. Spices and yoghurt could go with just about anything. Wouldn’t you agree?
This extraordinary tasting salad can be eaten warm or cold. As a side to a steak, chicken or fish. As part of a buffet of salads, or even served in a wholemeal wrap with extra yoghurt and coriander. The possibilities are endless. So spice it up.
Turmeric potato salad with quinoa and yoghurt
900g desiree potatoes
35-40g fresh turmeric
1/4 cup red quinoa
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp nigella seeds
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp chopped coriander stem, plus coriander leaves for garnish
Rice bran oil
Greek style yoghurt
1/2 lemon juiced
Cracked black pepper
Leave the skin on the potatoes and cut them into 4cm dice. Place in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add the grated turmeric and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or till potatoes are just soft. Drain and leave to steam in the colander for 5 or more minutes.
Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a small pot, cover with water bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes, drain and set aside.
Place the coriander seed, cumin seed and nigella seed in a separate small pan. Toast the spices till they start to pop. Cool slightly them ground roughly using a mortar and pestle.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frypan. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for about 8 minutes, till caramalised. Set the onion aside.
Wipe out the fry pan and add 1 tbsp oil, add the cooked potatoes and fry lightly in the pan for about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped coriander stem, cooked onion, roasted ground spices and cooked quinoa. Toss to combine. Season with lemon juice and taste for extra salt and pepper.
Serve the potatoes on a large platter, garnish with dollops of yoghurt and picked coriander leaves.