I call this a salad, even though it’s a mixture of cooked vegetables which are served warm, because the vegetables are lightly tossed together, and it has a vinaigrette dressing.
I call it a potato salad, because that’s what I start with, and to which I add the other ingredients as I go. But it’s not a potato salad in the egg and bacon and mayonnaise sense.
I’ve made this a few times, and it changes every time except for the potatoes and the chickpeas. The potato provides the satisfying carbohydrates, while the chickpeas add some protein and their wonderful texture. It’s very versatile, and can be changed depending on what’s in season or what’s in the fridge. But for this entry, I’ll list the ingredients and quantities that I used tonight, and then suggest some variations at the end.
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish
500g chat potatoes
1 cup diced golden kumara (sweet potato)
1 cup cauliflower, broken into florets
About a handful of green beans, topped and tailed.
1 can of chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper to season
for the vinaigrette
Extra virgin olive oil
(A few tablespoons of each, I usually just keep adding a bit of each until the mix looks right to me)
1 handful of shaved romano cheese
1 handful of sliced coppa, shredded
Steam the potatoes whole. When they are nearly done add the kumara. When that’s nearly done, add the cauliflower, and then when everything is tender but not overcooked, add the beans for about a minute before taking everything off the heat and draining and rinsing if necessary.
Remove the potatoes and cut into quarters.
Put the saucepan (without the steamer) back on a low heat, add the quartered potatoes and the chickpeas. Mix them gently and drizzle the vinaigrette over them.
Add the other vegetables, season, toss together, and gently reheat.
Once they are warmed through, remove from heat and serve.
Now, if you are vegetarian, or are serving this to accompany another dish, you can stop right here. However, if I’m eating this as a main course, I often like to add some animal protein at this point.
Tonight I had some shaved romano and some sliced coppa which I shredded with my fingers. I just put this on top of the veges, and stir it in as I eat.
Substitute pumpkin, carrot, or yam for the kumara. Or, if you’re on a low GI diet, skip the potatoes altogether and use a less starchy root vegetable as the base.
Substitute broccoli for the cauliflower
Substitute snow peas or sugar peas for the green beans
Add baby spinach leaves (toss in just before serving)
Add some tahini just before serving for an extra creamy and rich dressing
…add any vegetable that you think will taste good
Ham and wholegrain mustard
Smoked salmon, capers, and fresh dill (this may be my favourite so far)
One poached egg per bowl
… anything which seems like a good idea at the time.
[Tonight’s serving was about 615 calories per bowl, at least 200 of which were in the toppings]