This salad is from the Middle East. A region known for its warmth and hospitality. It is made with olive oil and olives and other delicious yet easily available ingredients that make it taste exotic. Certainly like nothing I’d tasted before, especially in an Indian salad.
The recipe is from Rawia Bishara’s cookbook Olives, Lemons and Zaatar. Rawia is a Palestinian Arab, now settled in New York and owns a popular restaurant there called Tanoreen. She opened her restaurant in 1998, as a tribute to her mother who she says was not rigidly authentic in her cooking and often bent the rules with her creativity. This she admires greatly in her mother, and at Tanoreen she celebrates tradition and embraces change in her cooking. She says “ Cooking is so very personal- use your imagination, intuition, and most importantly, taste buds”.
Tanoreen Potato Salad
15 small red potatoes in 2.5 cms dice
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
80 gms chopped fresh leaf parsley
6 spring onions, green parts only, chopped
30 gms finely diced green pepper
30 gms finely diced red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground paprika
50 gms chopped green olives
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium-high heat until a cocktail stick slides easily into a piece but doesn’t cause the potato to fall apart, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain, then rinse under cold water. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet to cool.
Combine the garlic and salt in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic into a paste. Add the oil and lemon juice with the parsley, spring onions, green pepper and red peppers, mint, cumin, black pepper and paprika; mix to combine. Tip in the potatoes and using a wooden spoon, toss gently until thoroughly coated with the dressing. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the olives and coriander.