Posts Tagged With: potatoes

Easy potato salad with tomatoes, basil and rocket

Whether in the park, or at home with a BBQ this salad is always a winner – especially with this simple but delicious dressing.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, tomatoes, rocket, chives, coriander, mint, spring onions
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  •       Scrubby brush
  •       Large saucepan
  •       Chopping board & knife
  •       Measures: ¼ cup
  •       Salad spinner, paper towel
  •       Mixing bowls – large, medium
  •       Garlic press
  •       Tea towel
  •       Colander
  •       Metal spoon
  •       Serving bowls

  •       1kg potatoes
  •       A small handful mint
  •       A small handful tomatoes
  •       4 spring onions
  •       A small handful parsley
  •       A small handful chives
  •       A small handful coriander
  •       Flaked salt


  •       1 garlic clove
  •       1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •       Flaked salt & black pepper
  •       A sprig of basil

What to do:

  • Wash the potatoes well, scrubbing with a brush if needed, and cut any large ones in half or quarter. Put them all into the large saucepan, cover with cold water and set to boil.
  • Wash the mint and add to the potatoes with a tablespoon of cooking salt. Once the water is boiling, check to see if tender after about 15 minutes.
  • To make the dressing: Peel and squeeze the garlic through the press into a medium bowl. Measure in the olive oil with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Wash the basil, pick the leaves and spin them dry in the salad spinner. Tear into pieces with your fingers and add to the oil.
  • Wash the remaining herbs and spring onions and dry well. Pick the herbs and finely chop; remove the outer layer of spring onion (discarding it) and chop into slices about half the size of the nail on your little finger.
  • Wash the tomatoes and carefully slice into small chunks. Wash the rocket in several changes of water and spin dry. Slice into thin ribbons.
  • When the potatoes are tender, pour out into a colander and drain. Shake to remove excess water and turn back into the warm saucepan, immediately adding the dressing, spring onions, tomato chunks and rocket. Using the metal spoon, carefully turn the warm mixture so that all is covered. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle over the chopped herbs and turn out into serving bowls. 

Notes: Why do we start cooking the potatoes in cold water? What is a thin ribbon?

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Greek slow-roasted leg of lamb

On a day like today when the rain is pelting down outside, all I can think of is popping the oven on and cooking something hearty and absolutely delicious for a few hours…  the original recipes calls for roasting potatoes on high in the lamb fat once the meat is done – so of course that is what we did – but I also made some pitta to roll around the juicy lamb, along with some tzatziki, some crunchy rocket, and also a fresh tomato, cucumber and onion salad to squash in too. Sounds like a lot of work but not really… and so worth it! Do it, do it!

So here follows the recipe for the lamb, the potatoes, the tomato salad and the tzatziki. The pitta bread recipe has been posted separately!

Recipe source: (many thanks for this recipe, it was truly scrumptious)
Serves: 8-10 (or 4 with loads left over for the next day!)

1 leg of lamb (bone in) 2½ kg to 3½ kg
1 head of garlic
fine sea salt
fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium onions, peeled & quartered
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
2-3 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
2-3 bay leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
hot water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Peel the skins off the garlic clove and slice them into slivers. Stick a paring knife into the lamb and make a hole, then slip a sliver of garlic. Repeat and insert as many slivers of garlic as you can.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to the highest possible temperature and place the rack in the middle position. Drizzle your lamb with some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan that just fits the leg. Place in your pre-heated oven and roast uncovered for about 10-15 minutes or until browned, then flip the leg and roast for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 180C. Place the quartered onions around the lamb, add any remaining slivers of garlic, add the herbs (thyme, bay, rosemary, oregano) and squeeze in the lemon juice and pour the wine into the pan. Add the olive oil and enough hot water or stock to cover a third of the lamb.
  4. Cover and place the lamb back in the oven for 2 hours (add more hot water or stock if needed), baste the lamb once an hour. After two hours, flip the leg of lamb (add more water if necessary and adjust seasoning of liquid with salt and pepper).
  5. After 3 hours, the leg of lamb should be a deep brown and the bones will be exposed and the meat will be falling off the bone.
  6. Remove the lamb from the oven, baste with liquid and allow to rest. Serve with roast potatoes tossed in lamb drippings* & with pita bread & tomato salad!

Roast potatoes: Have some peeled & quartered potatoes to roast in another roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour enough pan juices from the lamb leg to come up a third of the way on the potatoes and toss to coat. Taste, adjust seasoning and crank your oven up to 220C and place the potatoes in the oven to roast for 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender (the lamb will stay warm covered in the roasting pan on the stove-top).

Tomato, cucumber and onion salad: Chunky-chop 2 or 3 vine-ripe tomatoes into a bowl and add a similar amount of chopped cucumber (peeled if you like or not!). Add half a finely chopped red onion, a bunch of washed and finely chopped coriander stalks and stems, a squeeze of fresh lime, a sprinkle of flaked salt, grind of pepper and half a teaspoon of chilli flakes (if you like some heat). Toss and serve.

Tzatziki: Peel and finely chop half a cucumber and add to a bowl with a small tub of Greek-style yoghurt. Add a clove of garlic, very finely chopped, and a sprinkle of flaked salt and stir well. This can keep for a few days so make beforehand if you need.

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Fish-free salad Nicoise

Hugh says, ‘Without any tuna or anchovies, I guess you might upset the good people of Nice a bit with this one, but it is an exceptionally delicious and substantial salad – with plenty going on.’

Fresh from the garden: new potatoes, green beans, eggs, small lettuce leaves, olives, basil, garlic
Recipe source: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Veg Every Day
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Scales
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Saucepans – med, small
  • Colander
  • Small jar & lid
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Serving plates

  • 500g new (baby) potatoes
  • 200g green beans
  • 8 large eggs at room temperature
  • A small handful baby lettuce leaves
  • A handful small black olives
  • About 12 basil leaves
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

For the dressing:

  • ½ small garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of sugar

 What to do:

  • Wash the beans and potatoes – do not peel them! Tail the beans & chop into 3cm lengths.
  • You can cook small new potatoes whole, but cut any larger ones in half or smaller, so they’re all roughly the same size. Cover with cold water in the medium saucepan, add salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes until tender, adding the beans for the last 4 minutes. Drain, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
  • To cook the eggs, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the eggs, return to a simmer, then cook for 7 minutes. Lightly crack the shells and run the eggs under cold water for a minute or two to stop the cooking, then leave to cool. Peel and quarter the eggs.
  • To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a screw-topped jar, seasoning with salt and pepper, and shake until emulsified.
  • Halve, quarter or thickly slice the cooked potatoes. Put them back with the beans, add some of the dressing and toss gently together.
  • Wash the lettuce & basil leaves in several changes of water. Spin-dry and then gently toss in a bowl with a little of the dressing.
  • Arrange the lettuce, potatoes, and beans on your serving plates and distribute the olives and eggs over the salad. Scatter with torn basil leaves, trickle over the remainingdressing and grind over some pepper. Serve straight away.

Notes: What does emulsified mean? What does the adjective Niçoise mean?

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Spinach soup with sour cream and crunchy croutons

This is such a lovely spring soup, verdant and vibrant! And made even more delicious by the addition of sour cream and crunchy croutons at the end.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, spinach, onions
Recipe source: Melissa, kitchen specialist at Bondi PS


  • Small saucepan
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Scales
  • Bowls – 2 large, med
  • Garlic press
  • Potato peelers
  • Small stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring: jug,1/2 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Stick blender
  • Ladle
  • Teaspoons
  • Serving bowls



Ingredients:For the croutons

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half a loaf sourdough of bread
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1kg all-purpose potatoes
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
    Wash the spinach in several changes of water and shake dry. Trim the stems and then slice stems and leaves into pieces 2cm wide.
  • Peel, halve and coarsely chop the onion. Squeeze the garlic through the garlic press. Wash and peel the potatoes and chop into 2cm cubes.
  • Heat the oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add potato and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potato is tender.
  • Meanwhile, carefully melt the butter in the small saucepan.
  • Remove the crust from the half-loaf of bread and then slice the bread into cubes.
  • Combine the melted butter and tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Add the cubes of bread, and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; toss until evenly coated. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until croutons are golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Add spinach to the soup and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach wilts.
  • Using the stick blender, whizz the soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle soup among serving bowls. Top with half a teaspoon of sour cream and a sprinkle of croutons.

Notes: What is an all-purpose potato? What does cumin smell like?

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s chickpea, potato and kale curry

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a British chef, famous for the TV show ‘River Cottage’ and his support of real food, local and seasonal foods, and humanely produced livestock .

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, kale, onion, coriander


  • Bowls – glass, large
  • Saucepans – med, large
  • Sieve & colander
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Microplane zester
  • Salad spinner
  • Peeler
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Scales
  • Frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Wooden spoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 300g dried chickpeas (or 2 tins, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 hot, dried red chilli, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 250g potatoes
  • 150g kale (or cabbage)
  • Greek yogurt, to serve
  • A small handful coriander leaves

What to do:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water.
  • Next day, drain, rinse and simmer them for about 30 minutes in fresh ­water until tender, then drain. (If using tinned, just drain and rinse.)
  • Peel and grate the ginger with the microplane zester. Peel, halve and finely slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and chop the potato into 3cm dice.
  • Wash and shake the kale leaves dry. Strip the leaves from the stem (discarding the stem) and finely shred the leaves. Wash and spin-dry the coriander and finely chop.
  • Put the frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, dry-toast the cumin, coriander seeds and mustard seeds and the chilli for a couple of minutes ­until they smell ­really fragrant and the mustard starts to pop. Grind to a powder with the pestle and mortar, and mix in the turmeric and ginger.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and fry the onion, stirring regularly, until soft and golden brown. Stir in the garlic and spices, leave to cook for a minute or two, and add the stock. Simmer for five minutes, then add the chickpeas and potatoes. Cook until the spuds are tender, then add the kale. Cook for a few minutes, until the greens are tender, then serve with a dollop of thick yogurt on top, along with a ­sprinkling of toasted cumin seeds and some coriander leaves.

Notes: Why do we dry-toast the spices? What does to shred the leaves mean?

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Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Passing potatoes through the mouli for gnocchi

The volunteers occasionally freak out when I tell them they’re making gnocchi. But I say, have no fear! It’s child’s play… as long as the spuds cool down enough once they’re out of the oven & you help a bit with getting the gnocchi out of the pot, it’s a great dish to do with children as there’s a few different procedures & fun (and teamwork required) playing with the mouli to get the potatoes mashed… and who doesn’t love a bit of playdoh-style rolling out with the dough? I do anyway…

Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, sage, eggs

Recipe source: Melissa, kitchen specialist at Bondi PS


Floury potatoes work best here: nicola, desiree, pink eye, russet Burbank Idaho and toolangi delight are all great varieties. The trick is to keep your work light – do not overwork the dough – and your gnocchi will be light too.


  • Baking tray
  • Paper towel
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Small saucepan
  • Large knife, spoon
  • Oven glove or tea towel
  • Ricer, mouli or sieve
  • Bowls – 1 large, 4 small bowls
  • Scales, grater
  • Baking sheet
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving plates

  • 1.5kg floury potatoes
  • 150g plain flour plus extra
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 150g parmesan
  • 125g salted butter
  • Small branch of sage


What to do:

For the gnocchi:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Scrub potatoes well & wipe dry with paper towel. Prick all over with a fork and bake in their jackets in the oven for an hour until tender to squeeze.
  • Put the large pot of water on high heat to boil.
  • Cut potatoes in half. Hold half in an oven glove or folded tea towel & scoop out the flesh into a large bowl then press into the ricer, mouli or sieve to cool.
  • Grate parmesan into a small bowl. Grate nutmeg into a small bowl to make about ¼ teaspoon and wash and carefully dry the sage, picking off the leaves.
  • Make a well in the centre of potato mound and add a handful of flour, the yolks, salt, nutmeg and 50g of the parmesan.
  • Fold continuously toward centre, gradually adding more flour until it comes together without being sticky. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll some mixture into a sausage shape about 3cm in diameter and cut off 3cm pieces.
  • Lightly flour the baking sheet. Roll each piece on the back of a fork using thumb and forefinger & place gnocchi there until ready to use
  • Poach gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, then scoop onto your serving plates.

For the burnt butter:

  • Chop the butter into small pieces and then in the small saucepan heat the butter on medium until it develops a nut-brown colour.
  • Add sage and continue cooking for 30 seconds until the leaves are crisp.
  • Sprinkle remaining parmesan onto the gnocchi and then drizzle on the sizzling crispy sage & butter.

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