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It's all Greek to me...Potato, Onion & Caper Salad and Dolmades!

This month has FLOWN by!  Seriously...where does the time go?  I told myself I was going to get my rear in gear and participate in my pal Joanne's Regional Recipes this month and I almost missed it!  But the month is not yet over, and here I am...sliding in under the wire!  This month's region is Greece...when I think Greek food, I think flaming cheese and dolmades!  Nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact...everything is RIGHT with that.  Cheese with booze ignited and oozing...oh man!  I would have made Saganaki if I'd had the time foresight to make (or buy) the cheese!  As a matter of fact, just talking about it is bringing on a whopper of a craving. 

But, back to the task at hand...I bought a gorgeous little bunch...if you can refer to potatoes in the term bunch...of multi-colored fingerlings at the farmer's market a week or so ago and really needed to use them!  So, I searched out Greek recipes that contained potatoes...and I find one that became a quick favorite.  I love potato salads made with vinegar, but mostly have it German-style (BACON!).  This particular recipe is packed full of those addictive, salty little bubbles...capers!  In a cookbook I found at the library called Modern Greece by Andy Harris, the recipes intro says... "In the Cycladic Islands, capers grow wild on the cliffs.  Picked and pickled by most families, they are added to this frugal salad found often in the summer months at the lunchtime table."  So, I will close my eyes and imagine I'm in that picturesque fairytale of a country...

Potato, Onion and Caper Salad
serves 4

2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks I (almost) never peel my potatoes
1 medium sized red onion, peeled and thinly slice I (almost) always DO peel my onions
1/3 c. capers, rinsed
3 Tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes and drain in a colander.  Transfer to a large bowl and combine with all the other ingredients, seasoning the salad with salt and pepper.  Serve while potatoes are still warm.

My oldest son...potato-lover extraordinaire...LOVED this!  Me too ;-)

Since I have a plethora of grape leaves available right outside my door, I decided I had to make a few dolmades, too.  I was gonna hold off because I have an upcoming post about preserving grape leaves...but it fit, so...

No exact recipe...if using fresh grape leaves, rinse and blanch them for about a minute before using.  Lay out one of the blanched (or preserved/rinsed) leaves, shiny side down.  Place a heaping teaspoon (or more if the leaf is large enough) of your preferred stuffing in middle.  Fold in the sides, then roll loosely.  Line them up in a large pot, place a plate on top, to weigh them down.  Add water to cover and simmer gently for ~40 minutes.  These particular dolmades were stuffed with brown rice, red salad onions, garlic, mint, toasted pinenuts seasoned w/ salt & pepper.  Leave the rice raw, it will cook in the process.  You can add cooked, ground meat to the mixture...and raisins, too...but I was in the mood for meatless and I was out of raisins!

This is my entry into Joanne of Eats Well with Others' Regional Recipes: Greece event...whew, nothing like procrastinating.  I'm also sending the salad over to another friend, Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays this week and Reeni of Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice and her Side Dish Showdown, plus I'm adding it to this weeks Two for Tuesdays post!
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