Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leek & Potato Salad

What’s good for the soup, is good for the salad

St Patrick’s day brunch was happening in our house, so me and Sarah knocked together a few salads and then asked everyone to bring a few things, and we’d see how it all came out. Lola had made a yummy whiskey cake a few days before and she was slowly basting it in a decadent whiskey syrup daily! It was included in the St Patricks Day Parade over at the Daily Spud - check it out, a throroughly impressive collection of Irish inspired recipes, enough to keep you going until next St Patrick's Day.

I wanted to make a potato salad for the day that was in it, but something a little different from the mayonnaise soaked standard, not that I am adverse to that version either. I decided on a roasted potato salad, which I teamed up with sweet and carmelised roasted leeks and salty sharp feta, and a rich roasted garlic dressing. I was delighted with how it turned out. It disappeared pretty fast, so I can only presume it was well liked.

20 or so baby potatoes
2 leeks
1 head of garlic
Two sprigs of rosemary
5 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Block of feta - cubed
1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon of Coleman's mustard powder

Cut the baby potatoes into little cubes - toss in olive oil, season and bake in at Gas mark 7 for an hour - tuck the head of garlic in amongst them. Cook the spuds until gold and crispy. Also slice the leeks into thin rounds and lay flat on a baking tray with some oil underneath them, sprinkle them with a little paprika. Cook these in the top of the oven for 45 mins, remove when they’re starting to carmelised, there’s a fine line between gold and sticky and burnt!

While you’re allowing you potatoes to cool you can prepare the dressing. Mix together the mustard powder with a drop of warm water to form a paste, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Take a sharp knife and slice the bottom off the head of garlic, you should then be able to squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulbs - you’ll get messy hands alright - but your fingers will taste great!

Mix half of the roasted garlic into the dressing. When your potatoes have cooled, combine with the cubes of feta in a large serving dish. Remove the sticks of rosemary, you can leave the leaves in there. Carefully lift your rounds of leeks and place them on top of the potatoes and cheese. When you’re ready to serve, spoon the dressing over and mix well.

I put the other half of the head of garlic on some bread and ate it for my lunch. I thought that pushing a whole head of garlic on my hungover friends might have been a step too far, I showed a little garlic restraint for once!

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