Potato salad with olives


  • Kipfler potatoes
  • anchovies mashed
  • large red chillies
  • salted capers rinsed
  • olives, stoned and chopped
  • parlsey washed, stemmed and chopped
  • olive oil
  • vinegar


Boil potatoes, drain, peel if you want – I did this time – and dice. Mix in all the rest. Freshly ground pepper, but in my case I didn’t use salt, figuring the capers even though rinsed would be salty enough.


I see this being dreadful with poor ingredients: all of mine were best of everything. Red wine vinegar, large green olives. Coriole first cold pressed olive oil.

Anchovies were almost an afterthought and I imagine this would be nice without, for the vegetarians in the audience.

Egg, Avo salad

Rough notes.

I mashed an avo, added a bit of plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves.

Chopped up some lettuce leaves (from the garden!) and two hard boiled eggs. Cubed some Paris Creek fetta. I mention the brand because it’s quite different from a lot of fetta. Drier, slightly rubbery. I love it, and wouldn’t normally eat fetta at the fridge door, if you want the full ad. I don’t know that I’d add what I think of as normal fetta to this.


Served with toast.

Variations are no doubt infinite.


Cumquats in a salad

This is especially for Phil. I have a cumquat addict in the house, against the odds by far, since nobody I have ever known likes them. It made me wonder what one could do to make them work for the population at large.

The trick is to salad them….

Rocket, Pecan and Cumquat salad

Wash and dry the rocket, place in a salad bowl.

Toast pecans and sliver, add to the rocket.

Slice the cumquats and take out the seeds, which I gather are rather nasty unless you are a true KQ addict. I expect they would be nice simply added to the mix now, but if you want to go slightly unhealthy and do something decadent with them, fry them in butter, add a little sugar to caramelise them – that didn’t happen for me, but I imagine the sugar was still a nice addition.

Deglaze the pan by adding vinegar and olive oil, mix thoroughly with the cumquats and their sauce. Put all this on the rocket and pecans, mix thoroughly.


Really not bad. Obviously one would have any number of variations. But the bottom line is, it’s a lovely thing to do with the cumquats, which will have a beautifully slightly tart, slightly sour, slightly sweet impact.

Do this with enough of them and it would make a nice sauce accompanying a piece of roast meat/chicken for example. I imagine starting with shallots and then adding cumquats could be nice too.


Dressing for carrot and cucumber

Just so as I don’t forget:

Coarsely grate carrot and cucumber. Squeeze cucumber to remove excess liquid.


  • Tamari
  • sesame oil
  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • rice vinegar or similar
  • neutral oil like grape
  • toasted sesame seeds

You can mix all this up including half the sesame seeds with the carrot and cucumber. Then garnish before serving with the rest of the seeds.

Dressing for green beans a la Simon Hopkinson

I reported a dressing for green beans just recently, the star of which was two mustards. Since then I’ve been rereading Simon Hopkinson’s Week In Week Out and noticed his take on a dressing for green beans.


  • 1 tblesps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tblesps red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • a few anchovies
  • water
  • olive oil 150 mls
  • peanut oil 150 mls
  • finely chopped shallot


Pulverise the first four ingredients, adding a little water to thin the mixture. Then add the oils in a thin stream as one  might with mayonnaise, beating at the same time. Eventually you will have a thick, creamy dressing.

Steam the beans, until suitably done for a salad, strain, cool under running water.

Serve with the dressing drizzled over the beans and the shallot sprinkled on top and a few whole anchovies for decoration.

Hopkinson suggests some sort of mechanical method for mixing. I simply vigorously stirred them after mashing the anchovies with a fork first. I added far less oil than he suggested, perhaps 1 tblsp in lieu of the 300ml he recommends. There is a variation on this recipe on his site. Instead of the peanut oil he uses cream. No anchovies, but a little parsley. Here he doesn’t cool the beans under water, but just lets them adjust to ‘warm’. That was my inclination too.

I guess my adapting this to a very low oil content really changes the nature of the dressing, but it was delicious and far less calorific. We had this dish with new season boiled potatoes and sausages. The dressing went well with both these. It’s a real winner and overall I think I prefer it to the two mustards dressing.


Green Beans with Two Mustards

Looking to make salads recently in this warm autumnal weather in Geneva, I had all the ingredients for this dish, another from Madhur Jaffrey’s Food for Family and Friends.


  • 3 tblesp lemon juice
  • 1 tblesp Dijon mustard
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 6 tblesp olive oil
  • 1 11/2 tblesp yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 675g green beans, ends trimmed


  • boil salted water
  • mix the lemon juice, mustard and spices
  • heat oil in a small pan and when hot add the mustard seeds, then, as soon as they begin to pop, the garlic. Stir until the garlic is light brown, cool briefly and add to the rest of the dressing. Beat to a creamy texture.
  • put the beans into the boiling water and boil vigorously for 3-5 minutes. They should remain crisp-tender.
  • drain thoroughly, add to the dressing and toss
  • if making ahead, refrigerate and take out 30 minutes before serving so that they aren’t fridge cold

I used maybe half the amount of oil asked for and I used grape seed oil. It was a big hit served with potato salad and a chickpea and carrot salad.

three salads

Chickpea and carrot salad

There are many recipes available for this combination. I started with this from manella on allrecipes and made a couple of changes based on my available ingredients.


  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 tblsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed. I peeled them too.
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • fresh coriander leaves washed and chopped in lieu of parsley
  • 2 teasp ground dhanna jeera mix 60% coriander 40% cumin in lieu of ground cumin
  • spring onion, one white finely chopped


Thoroughly whisk all ingredients except the carrot and chickpeas, which are then added. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Fabulous and the bit that was left over was great for b/f in the morning.

Served it with potato salad and a cold green beans dish. Worked really well as a combination.

three salads

Potato salad with yoghurt dressing

One of my favourite cookbooks is Madhur Jaffrey’s Food for Family and Friends. I’m surprised I haven’t already made note of this recipe on my blog, having made it for many years.

She calls this ‘The Best, Lightest Potato Salad’ and says the waxier the potato the better.

The dressing

1 cup of plain low-fat yoghurt
1 tblesp vegetable oil
1/2 teasp cumin seeds
1 tblesp yellow mustard seeds
salt and pepper
the white of a spring onion cut into very fine rounds

The potatoes

Boil, cool and peel. Cut into pieces.


  • In a small pan, sizzle the cumin seeds in the heated oil, just for a couple of seconds, add the mustard seeds and as soon as they start popping…
  • tip the contents into the yoghurt which is in a serving bowl.
  • Mix in along with salt and pepper and onion. Stir in the potato pieces.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

Yesterday I had very young potatoes and didn’t peel them before chopping. I use full fat yoghurt.

Pictured here with her Green Beans with Two Mustards Salad and a Chickpea and Carrot salad.

three salads

Soba noodle, smoked salmon, quail egg salad

On the plate:

first a layer of salad leaves which I cut into smaller pieces
then the soba noodles in their dressing
boiled and shelled quail eggs halved, on top
around the sides smoked salmon

Cook the soba noodles in boiling water. I do it by bringing water to the boil, adding noodles, adding a cup of cold water, when it’s at the boil again, add another cup of cold water. Repeat that again. Drain and run water through to cool.

Dressing for the noodles:

I lightly fried some garlic and ginger in a little oil, added some pale miso, honey, brown rice vinegar and a little tamari. Added water to make it a pouring consistency. Tossed it through the noodles before placing on top of the salad leaves. I took the ingredients for the dressing from here. I did find it too salty and would do something rather different next time.

leek vinaigrette repurposed

You must imagine the scene. Large wide white bowl, a mix of salad leaves on the bottom, with artfully placed hard boiled quartered eggs and leeks on top, and drizzled over them the vinaigrette. That’s the photo.

In practice, I chopped up the salad leaves and leeks, adding to them the same weird cold soft-boiled eggs that have to be scooped out of their shells that I mentioned in my previous post. Mixed in the left over vinaigrette. Tasted divine. Looked like a vegetarian dog’s dinner.

Tip: the salad is better without bits of egg shell in it.