I love potatoes. It doesn’t really matter whether they are russet or sweet, baked or mashed, it’s all totally good with me. This fact may surprise you: the real Mediterranean diet includes potatoes. This does not mean french fries with a Big Mac and a coke, or tater tots with a hot dog (a favorite in American schools). I was surprised to find that fried potatoes are eaten all over the Mediterranean, the difference is what they are served with: wild greens (Horta with Potatoes), or other vegetables, or in the case of this recipe, a salad with fried potatoes. The other big difference is how they are cooked. Mediterranean potatoes are fried in extra virgin olive oil. What????? Yes, it is ok (and traditional) to fry potatoes in olive oil. The trick is to fry them slowly over medium heat so the oil doesn’t smoke. Another secret is to boil the potatoes first and then fry them. This creates a soft inner texture and a brown, slightly crunchy outer layer. I created this recipe only two weeks ago, but already over a hundred people have tried it. It has been very well received and a few people said it was the best salad they ever ate. Part of what makes it so good is pouring the hot potatoes and olive oil onto the arugula and tomatoes. This slightly wilts the greens and is similar to the old New England method of pouring bacon fat on greens, but much healthier! With the added feta, this salad can be a meal in itself, or can be served on the side. I hope you enjoy the recipe and please rate or comment below!
Mediterranean Fried Potato, Tomato and Arugula Salad
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- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup capers
- large handful of baby arugula
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 4 scallions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes until tender, but not too soft as they will also be pan fried. Drain potatoes in a colander and set aside.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Fry potatoes in olive oil until browned on all sides. Add capers in the last few minutes of frying.
- Layer arugula and then tomatoes on a large platter. Top with potatoes and any hot oil. Top with dressing, feta cheese and scallions.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top if needed.
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