Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warm Mediterranean Potato Salad with Feta-Oregano Dressing

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a favourite recipe of my Mom's + the creamy feta dressing I invented to go with that delicious prawn salad + a glut of potatoes in the fridge.

That last point is due to my new standing order with the NOWBC Co-op, which hooks me up with fresh local organic produce every Wednesday. I am loving the surprise aspect of it. I get excited on Monday mornings, as that's when I get an email from NOWBC listing what I'll be getting for the week. This gives me a couple of days to start thinking about what meals the week's bounty will lead to, as well as decide what will keep from the previous week to pair with the new stuff.

There is just enough repetition to force me to think beyond my usual uses for things, and I'm really enjoying the challenge so far. I turned a big bag of red onions into caramelized onions which then showed up throughout the week in omelettes, in tomato sauce, and on pizzas. I made apple sauce for the first time ever (so good with my morning granola). I tried making a double-baked, stuffed spaghetti squash. Fun.

This week I had lots of potatoes left, and was tired of making both soup and mashed potatoes (which is where most of my potatoes have ended up in previous weeks). I normally don't think of making potato salad until I'm gathering fresh little new potatoes at the farmer's market in early summer. But this warm Mediterranean version works any time of year. My mom used to make one similar to this, which I always loved. Hers had olives, sundried tomatoes, peas, and a balsamic-garlic-oregano dressing. Yum. For tonight's salad I added tender little pieces of sauteed kale (mmm, delicious and what my body needs) and lemon-garlic marinated chicken, and incorporated feta into the dressing.

Warm Mediterranean Potato Salad with Feta-Oregano Dressing
2 chicken breasts

Marinade for chicken:
5 garlic cloves, smashed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
4 sprigs fresh oregano
salt and pepper

5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup sliced sundried tomatoes (oil-packed)
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

[quantities to taste]
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Feta cheese
Dijon mustard
Agave syrup
Fresh oregano
Fresh ground pepper

The combination of being home from work on mat leave and having a little babe around who tends to wreck havoc on our evenings has caused me to get organized about doing as much dinner prep early in the day as I can. So I got the chicken marinating early this morning. It was super flavourful once cooked, so I would recommend having it marinate in the fridge for as much time as you can. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with marinade ingredients, then refrigerate.

Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot. Wash and chop kale, and shake out the majority of the water (don't worry about drying it – the moisture on the leaves will allow it to steam a bit as it sautes). Add kale to pot and cover. Stir every few minutes and continue cooking until nice and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the kale is cooking, saute the chicken and boil the potatoes until tender. Combine kale, chicken and potatoes with the chopped olives and sundried tomatoes in a large bowl.

Put all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. I haven't listed any quantities here – I always just make dressings to taste, adding a bit of everything, blending, tasting, and then adding more of one or more ingredients to taste (a bit more agave if it isn't sweet enough, more vinegar if it's too sweet, more olive oil if it's too acidic, more mustard if I can't taste the mustard, etc.).

Toss the dressing with the salad to coat, and serve warm.


Mrs. Letailleur said...

I read this out to Loic. Enjoyed it a lot. We get our organic veggies from a little local shop (2 blocks away), warehouse style, on Saturdays. I also have fun challenging myself to use things like Kale all week long. I want to eat the bite on the fork in the picture.

claire said...

Meg, this is so crazy. I was just coming to WeDine to see if I could find the prawn recipe you made ages ago. And lo and behold, you've linked to it from your most recent post. So crazy. Such serendipity! I will definitely be making this on Monday night. :)