Monday, 11 April 2011

Pink-eye potato salad with capers and olives

I have a confession to make. Is it too soon? Who knows. But I want you all to know that I LOVE carbs! And not just the ordinary carbs that are found in most foods- the carbs that are just solely carbohydrates! Rice, bread, pasta and potatoes, ofcourse! I love them all! I could eat them in their simplest form most of the time. I blame my dad for this. I have memories of getting home after school and just tucking into a wonderful crusty bread loaf. We'd have the whole loaf eaten (just between the two of us) before mum had even served dinner- she wasn't surprised and soon learnt to buy more bread!

So why is this a problem? Well we all know an overload of carbs isn't healthy for us with an over-intake resulting in weight gain. It's one of those things we have to eat in moderation. It's definitely however my weak spot. I could go without chocolate for days- but don't ban the carbs!

So this got me thinking. I want to be able to share the great health benefits found in all types of foods- not just the negative that we hear so often. Maybe this is just a way I can justify my eating of carbs? Either way I've decided in the posts on my blog I'm going to give you a Healthy Fact which will hopefully encourage you to try my recipes or better yet, eat more healthy foods. We all tend to know the health benefits of so many common foods such as salmon being rich in omega 3's, spinach being rich in iron and milk being a great source of calcium- but I'm sure many don't know the health benefits of many other foods. When we know whats good for us and why, I think we'll find we will put it into our diets more than we previously may have.

So lets talk potatoes! Healthy Fact- Did you know that the potato is full of vitamins including Vitamin C and Vitamin B- complex. These are vital for a strong immune system, wound healing and also healthy skin! The potato also has more potassium in it than any other fresh vegetable or fruit. Potassium plays an essential role in body growth and also looks after you heart and blood pressure.

On the weekend I celebrated with my new found facts and made a delicious potato salad inspired by Ben O'Donoghue. This boy knows good food- and he used the pink eye potato. A perfect choice!

The pink eye is found commonly here in Tasmania. It is by far my favourite potato! I only recently learnt that most people across other states in Australia aren't familiar with the pink eye. On a recent trip to a supermarket in Sydney they looked at me quite strange when I requested 'any pink eyes today?'. How bizarre. I thought they could be found everywhere! Pink eyes get their name because they have knots and dimples as I call them which are pink in colour. They are very distinctive. Pink eyes are great because they are full of flavour, but best of all they hold together really well when cooked- so are the perfect spud for a potato salad! If you can't get pink eyes at your local- then opt for kipflers instead. They are also a waxy yellow potato and are a good substitute.

In this salad I changed a few things to what Ben did with his. But the simplicity of this dish is what makes it fantastic. The flavours of the capers and the olives are so bold- that you really don't need to do much else to it. The big difference that I've employed is to keep the potato skins on. There are so many nutrients found in the skins themselves, that its such a waste to bin them. Plus they are so yummy and add that bit of texture.

It is essential to coat the potatoes in the olive oil whilst they are warm. And make sure not to overcook the spuds! I tend to take them out of the boiling water just before I think they are actually ready. This salad can be made the day before you want to serve it, and it is also great to pack for lunches- but take my advice and make sure that after refrigerating, you let the potatoes and olive oil dressing come to room temperature before serving. No-one likes cold set olive oil! Now go, enjoy, and eat those potatoes knowing how good they are for you!

(Oh- one more tip- buy more than the required amount of olives, because if you are anything like me, the salad will be lacking by the time you've eaten a few during the prep!)

Get This
1kg pink-eye potatoes
1 garlic clove crushed
Handful parsley chopped
100g baby capers
200g pitted green olives sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Cook Now
Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes well. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with salted water and bring to the boil. Boil for approximately 20 minutes. Remove and drain and rinse with cold water a few times to stop the potatoes from over cooking. Cut potatoes into quarters.
Now mix the olive oil, vinegar and juice from the lemon. Drizzle over potatoes and mix with your hands to coat all the potatoes in the oil.
In a mortar smash the garlic, half the parsley, half the olives and half the capers to a rough paste.
Add to the potatoes the olive paste, remaining olives, capers, parsley and lemon rind. Mix with your hands being careful not to break the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves 6 as a side


  1. This potato dish is fabulous! It tastes even better with your fingers the next day when no one is looking!


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