This salad comes to you with inspiration of the season, my visit last year to southern Greece (Laconia) and timely in that it’s also a Lent-friendly dish. Let’s examine the ingredients: a new shipment of Greek extra-virgin olive oil, just shipped from the old country and courtesy of a family friend. The early harvest of olive oil is called “agourelaio” in Greek many a Greek producer will have this shipment on shelves soon.
The other seasonal ingredient in this salad are blood oranges, still abundant in the farmers’ markets all over Greece and by and large cultivated in the Prefecture of Laconia. In Greek, blood oranges are called “ÏƒÎ±Î³ÎºÎ¿Ï…Î¯Î½Î¹Î±” or “sah-gween-ya”. They aren’t the cheapest fruit on the stand but they are some of the prettiest, tastiest and with their appearance being brief in the market – they are well worth the annual purchase.
For some layering of flavours, I opted for wine vinegar instead of lemon juice (choose what you like) and the final touch in this salad is a sprinkle of dried Greek oregano. There’s one more week of Lent (Sarakosti) left and then us Greek-Orthodox are into Megali Evdomada (Holy Week) with Greek Easter falling on April 4th (falls on the same day as the Catholic Easter this year).
For this recipe, I’ve thinly sliced the red onions (which I love) and if you find red onions too hot, you can soak them in cold water for 30 minutes and then strain or substitute them with scallions or chives. For the potatoes, I boil them with their skins on – with the purpose of retaining as much of their nutrients. I’ve opted for buttery Yukon Gold potatoes. Look for a yellow-fleshed potato in your part of the world.
Potato Salad With Blood Oranges (Î Î±Ï„Î±Ï„Î¿ÏƒÎ±Î»Î¬Ï„Î± Î¼Îµ ÏƒÎ±Î³ÎºÎ¿Ï…Î¯Î½Î¹Î±)
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small red onion
1 -2 blood oranges (depending on their size)
12 Kalamata olives
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. good wine vinegar
coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
- Get a medium-sized pot of water on your stove-top and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt and add your potatoes (with skins on). Reduce to a simmer and boil for about 25-30 minutes or until fork tender.
- In the meantime, prepare your other ingredients (slice your onions), make your dressing and segment your blood oranges. Cut the top and bottom off your blood oranges and then trim the skin off them. Now using a sharp paring knife, slice and remove the segments (supremes) by slicing in between the membrane of each orange segment. Reserve your segments in a bowl and squeeze any remaining juice into a bowl.
- Pour the blood orange juice into a jar along with the olive oil and your wine vinegar. Add a pinch of sea salt and some fresh cracked pepper and place the lid on and shake well. Adjust seasoning according to taste. Set Aside.
- As soon as your potatoes are fork tender, strain and place the potatoes in cold water. Peel the skins of the potatoes as soon as you can safely handle them (you want to dress the salad while the potatoes are still warm). Take the back/dull end of a knife and peel off the skins and discard. Slice the potatoes and and place in a bowl. Shake your jar of dressing and pour over the potatoes and sliced onions. Gently toss the with your hands until well coated.
- Arrange your slices of potatoes on a plate or platter and top with the blood orange segments and the Kalamata olives. Sprinkle some dried Greek oregano and serve warm/room temperature.
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