Kind of an odd thing coming from someone who cooks as much as I do, but there you have it, sometimes I think I could live on potatoes and bread. But of course these would have to be delicious potatoes and delicious bread!
I can manage the delicious potatoes, but delicious bread can only be found in Europe, this will have to wait till we get there again.
I did a lot of grilling this summer and hence, I just had to switch from salads, whether from the green and leafy variety, or salads made of pasta, to the comforting, always welcomed potato. What comes to mind most often, for most of us, is the well-known creamy potato salad.
Well, this worked a couple of times, but I wanted something different, something that complimented the grill or roast I had made.
So I turned to the cuisine part of all of this and wondered if there were potato salads unique by cuisine.
Sure enough, my first stop was France as France is usually my first stop with food. I found an absolutely delicious, and ‘why didn’t I think of it myself’, French Potato Salad. What makes it French? The dressing and the way that the potatoes are cut. The potato is the potato, but the combination makes the salad unmistakably French.
Then I went to the Middle East as I have recently bought a new (to me) spice blend called Ras El Hanout. The spice blend is Moroccan in origin and is absolutely delightful. It is a mild blend with a beautifully perfumed aroma that reminds me of Thanksgiving and roasted sweet potatoes and carrots. Of course, you can use Ras el Hanout in these, but I chose to use this spice blend made as Ras El Hanout Crusted Roast Potatoes. I paired this potato side dish with Lamb Lolly Pops, also seasoned with Ras el Hanout. Absolutely delicious.
I could not forget my heritage and went down memory lane a bit. My Mother used to make new potatoes tossed in butter and chopped parsley each spring. She definitely cooked the best of each season and I admit, I am like her in this way as I tend to cook the foods that she did as the seasons change.
You are probably wondering how these new potatoes came to be as we are in the fall, and not the spring, but these beautiful small white potatoes were heaped up in little produce baskets at one of our local grocers and they caught my eye. I also made some of the classic Hungarian Simple Warm Potato and Onion Salad to go with Homemade Grilling Sausages one night, absolutely perfect!
Then, with a nod to my American/Canadian upbringing, I could not resist my new Not a Creamy Potato Salad. In fact, it is a potato salad that tastes like salt and vinegar chips, and I even added some crumbled salt and vinegar chips to the salad for texture and as a reminder that you are eating a salt and vinegar potato salad.
None of these recipes take a long time, none require exotic ingredients (well, with the exception of the Ras el Hanout) and they are all perfect with anything grilled, roasted or pan seared.
It looks like I will be cooking a lot again come this fall and winter, but in the meantime, we did enjoy these delicious potato salad and sides recipes and hope that you do too!