Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Moroccan potato salad

Across the road from where I work in George Street, Brisbane, is quite possibly the most fabulous Moroccan restaurant I know, called Ben's Alibi, named equally after its owner and its location next to the Law Courts. The flavours are strong and traditional, the servings are generous and the customer service makes you feel like family. Do yourself a favour etc etc.

Hence I've found myself in local book stores buying a few Moroccan recipe books, and also in Woolies buying cinnamon and pine nuts in bulk!

Found this recipe on the Food Network website and gave it a run on Sunday when my family was over. Naturally I changed a few things, which I've included below. It was superb. My dad, who is dedicated to mum's mayonnaise and mint flakes version, had three helpings and declared it a winner. Now that's testament. I was glad to have a potato salad sans mayo. Try it with some bbq lamb or grilled fish. The pic is from the website but I didn't serve it with all that lettuce. It wasn't necessary and crowded out the beautiful colours.


For the dressing:
1 tablespoom dijon mustard
100 ml honey (less is ok, you be the judge)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped (to be honest though, I put a whack of that Gourmet Garden garlic tube stuff in and it was fine!)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil - up to 200 ml

For the salad:
12 black pitted Kalamata olives
12 ptted green olives
1 small red onion
3 spring onions
8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered (yep that makes 'em pretty small but be fearless)
½ cucumber, chopped quite small, with the seeds scraped out
A good handful of both coriander and curly parsley, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds, ground up in a mortar & pestle (it will smell divine)
3-4 potaotes (depending on size) peeled, boiled and sliced into chunks
Toasted pine nuts - be generous, I used an entire small packet


Do the potaotes first. While they are cooking, chop everything up. Makes it easier.

For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a jar, put on lid and shake well. Take care when making dressing, and keep tasting it along the way to get the right balance of flavouors. Pretend you're on MKR and Manu is watching you.

For the salad, mix the olives, onions, tomaotes and cucumber together. Toss half the dressing through it and let infuse.

In a big bowl, add the potatoes, herbs, lemon juice and zest and cumin. Mix well, then throw in the other bowl of stuff that has the olives in it. Pour over remaining dressing then scatter pine nuts over the top.

Then get it on the table!