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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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!
24TbadgeGIRLICHEFRegionalRecipesSouperSundaysSide Dish Showdown Blogger Event

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, Heather, this sounds SO good! Seriously, SO good right now. I love capers, but haven't had any in way too long. I've never thought to mix them in a potato dish. Thanks for adding this addition to Two for Tuesdays! And for being such a great co-host :)

  2. I love any kind of potato salad. There's usually bacon in mine too. I almost picked this one for Regional Recipes then went with Bamies Me Saltsa (Okra with Tomatoes) instead. I had fresh okra on hand. I just finished mine under the wire too;D
    I'll still have to give this one a try now.

  3. My love for the spud is well known Heather. What is symmer without several delicious potato salad recipes on the menu.

  4. Oh YUM. This is my kind of potato salad!

  5. The potato salad sounds wonderful! I missed Greece this month!!! I can't believe it's already over.

  6. I shouldn't have looked at this at lunchtime; my fruit salad (which I normally love!) is paling significantly by comparison ....

  7. Delicious! I'm always up for a different potato salad :)

  8. I love this simple potato salad. Great flavor and not covered up by all that mayo!

  9. Oh yeah Oh yeah- I am doing the Greek Potato Onion Caper Salad dance right now- I thinks me going to make this Friday, its on my eating plan! Great combo of flavors!

  10. i also wanted to join in onm joanne's regional but wow I am super behind, did not even get my two for tues in...great tater the color

  11. you can do almost anything to potatoes and I would love them, yoour presentation looks very very good....yum! I love those little purple guys....
    I am so jealous you have your own grape leaves......I would be stuffing them all the time!

  12. My wife LOVES the stuffed grape leaves but I've never made them. Our Greek friend always did and I wasn't going to try to top hers ;)

  13. You have no idea how much this salad is making me drool. CAPERS. Yum. MAYOLESS POTATO SALAD. Mega yum. I love all the colors of the potatoes too! Double bonus.

    Thanks so much for submitting it to RR! And thanks so much for the badge! It was so sweet of you to make it. you're the best Heather!

  14. That seems like the perfect side dish for so many meals that I have made! Yum! Flattered you stopped by my humble blog :)

  15. I really like that you used your own grape leaves for the dolmas. They look delicious.

  16. I just got my recipe in at the last minute as well! Your salad looks delicious and I'm crazy for dolmades! I've never attempted them. I really should! ;)

  17. Those purple potatoes are beauties! I love dolmades...never made them myself, though. May have to give it a shot!

  18. I much prefer a potato salad that doesn't have a heavy dressing. The onion and capers provide wonderful flavor. I've never made dolmades and now just have to find some grape leaves.

  19. love love loveeee this salad... i think the combo is just superb!! potato and capers!! love the addition of onions heather :)
    have a flavourish weekend :)

  20. This is my kind of potato salad - so full of flavor! And it's so colorful with those gorgeous purple potatoes. Thanks for sending it to the Showdown!

  21. Loving the salad and of course you had me at capers!
    ;-) Thanks for sending it to Souoer Sundays. I made homemade dolmades once and loved them--you have me thinking I need to do it again. ;-)

  22. I love all the colors here. I like that it's served warm. My mom used to make a German Potato salad that was served warm, but I never liked it with that sweet/sour taste. Now this one sounds right up my ally, nice with the capers added.

    I would love to try dolmades, interesting that you don't cook the rice first.

    You sure have a lot going do you keep track of everything? lol!

  23. Flaming, boozy cheese.... *drool* Oh and the potato salad looks good too. :-)

  24. I really enjoy potato salad with those various colors.

  25. YUM! I love potato and capers! Can you use dry parsley or would you not recommend to do that?