Like clockwork, as the days grow progressively longer and warmer, grills emerge from hibernation at just about any opportunity, eager as their owners to host all of the newly sprung vegetables, plus plenty of old favorites. Summer holidays practically require the presence of a grill, and with Memorial Day just around the corner, it seems like high time to dust that old furnace off. Tossing on veggie burgers and not-dogs, toasting up simple white bread buns to golden-brown perfection, it’s the start of a perfectly “American” meal. But what to serve alongside those main dishes? Perhaps a side of fries or chips, maybe potato salad- Just as long as the lovable spud makes an appearance.
Here’s where my menu takes a somewhat different turn. Potato salad sounds great in concept, but mayonnaise, dairy-based or otherwise, is simply not welcome in this household. Serve something containing even a half ounce of that white glop, and you may very well have an all out revolt on your hands. Thus, eschewing this vile condiment in favor of a lighter dressing, I tend to favor olive oil, lemon juice, and whatever fresh herbs happen to be on hand. This time though, it felt necessary to start the season off with a bang and spice things up a bit.
Essentially glorified samosa filling freed of its pastry, this starchy side is just the thing to liven up any backyard BBQ spread. Delicious served both warm or chilled, it can easily be made a day ahead of time to give you one less thing to worry about later.
Don’t wait until you have a party to make it though- Any number of savory mains would pair beautifully with these spicy potatoes, and you can keep it for up to a week in the fridge.
Samosa Potato Salad
2 Pounds White New Potatoes
1 Bay Leaf
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 – 3 Large Shallots, Chopped (About 1 Cup)
4 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Grated
2 Teaspoons Garam Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Chives (Optional)
Wash the potatoes thoroughly before chopping them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot, and fill it with cold water so that all of the pieces are covered. Move the pot onto the stove, toss in the bay leaf, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Once boiling, cook with the lid off for 5 – 8 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Discard the bay leaf, drain, and let cool.
Mean while, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add in the shallots. Cook for about 3 minutes until somewhat translucent, and add in the garlic and ginger. After another minute or two has passed, incorporate all of the spices and lemon juice. Add in the the peas, and continue to stir the mixture for 5 minutes or so, until the peas have completely thawed.
Toss the potatoes and dressing together in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, and top with freshly chopped chives, if desired. Serve immediately if you want it warm, or let cool and chill thoroughly in an air-tight container.
Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish