September 20, 2007

New Potatoes and Parsley Salad

Potatoes are told to be in the same family (solanum) as egg-plants (aubergine) and are great horticultural importance of Central and South America. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is native to South America and is the widely eaten vegetable in the world, especially by those who live in Western countries.

We plant potatoes using either the sprouted seed potatoes taken from the previous year stocks or buy new seed potatoes from a garden centre. The soil we use is the mixture of coarse sand and earth which manure is forked in before and after we put the seeds in. We grow brown as well as red skin potatoes.

Once a week, we usually 'peek' the growing potatoes which are mature enough to supply the kitchen's needs. The good thing I love about new potatoes are they're mostly available bite-sized and not so starchy. I often just steam them or use them in vegetable soup in skin to retain the goodness. Their skin is quite soft to chew.

I also grow both curly-leaf and flat-leaf (Italian) parsley. I grew them from seeds, available from the garden centres in small bags. They are pretty easy to grow. They just need moist ground and sheltered spots. A little bit of manure forked in the earth will do them really really good. I use sheep or fowl manure.

Parsley (petroselinum crispum) is cultivated for thousand of years for its flavour and health-giving properties (Geoff Bryant. The Ultimate NZ Gardening Book. p.352). Here's another fact about parsley:

“... parsley are a source of vitamins C and A, as well as a versatile herbal remedy. Because it eases muscle spasms and cramps, parsley is used as a digestive aid, and it is prescribed as a diuretic and mild laxative. Parsley is also considered to be an expectorant.” (The Alternative Advisor. The Complete Guide to Natural Therapies and Alternative Treatments. p.94. Time Life).

I also read another book about parsley, that when you've eaten garlic, you should chew parsley to get rid of the pungent odor from garlic. Believe it or not, have a try!

I am sending this bowl of potatoes and parsley salad to all of you for Weekend Herb Blogging, which this week is hosted by Myriam of Once Upon A Tart.

New Potatoes and Parsley Salad

It's only the four of us in the family. With new potatoes, I usually cook double amounts of we usually have with larger potatoes. My kids love midget potatoes, especially when I make salad and dressed with mayonnaise, garlic and parsley. It's just depending on what I cook on the day to match the potatoes with the dish, however, we usually like to eat them with a bowl of fresh salad. This time I make parsley oil as the dressing. I don't use measurements in cooking, so feel free to modify to your liking.

About 10-15 new potatoes, scrub the dirt off the skin, steamed

Parsley Oil

2-4 sprigs Italian parsley, finely chopped,
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped,
olive oil,
freshly cracked salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and toss in the steamed potatoes. Serve warm with fresh salad or greens.


Kalyn said...

Love your photos! Parsley is such a versatile and delicious herb, and this is a classic way to use it!

katiez said...

I love parsleyed potatoe! We can buy great new potatoes here in easly summer. I don't think i cna grow them though, our soild is very hard clay. The potatoes all come from the sandy fields by the coast...they are soooo good!

Arfi Binsted said...

kalyn: classic indeed. it's pretty healthy without including so much butter or cheese.

katie: yes, the media which they love best is sand, lots of manure, and dark compost. if your earth is clay, it is a hard work to transform it into a healthy ground. takes years and years. but i suppose, there's the challenge begins!

Anh said...

Arfi, this is one of the best way to enjoy potatoes! I love it.

Jen said...

Potato salad is one of my favorite foods :)

Mia said...

What a fantastic post! Thanks for all of the info. It's so great that you grow this produce yourself. I know that freshly dug new potatoes are the best you can eat.
Looking forward to reading more of your blog in the future!