We are really ready to move from May into June, and the garden is gearing up to produce a whole pile of food. The lockdown has enabled us to spend hours in the garden, seeding and planting, but now we need someone to eat it all. We are already wading through the spinach and chard that we planted for the shop and if the wind last Friday hasn’t trashed the courgettes we will be picking plenty of them too so hopefully June will see us back in the kitchen rustling up fresh healthy food for you. We’ve also had time to play in our kitchen at home and we have few new recipes to try out
We had planned to be in Greece at this time giving a culinary tour of Syros but as we’re grounded we’re enjoying lots of Greek recipes, which can be made anywhere! Syros is where we first encountered capers growing on shrubs that cling on the rocks overhanging the sea. Capers grow on small shrubs that grow wild in stonewalls and crevices all over the Mediterranean. They are used to liven up all manner of salads, sauces, pastas and fish dishes adding a salty citric kick.
Capers are flowerbuds, which need to be harvested early in the morning, before the buds open, and rushed home to be preserved in salt or pickled in vinegar. Once preserved, they keep for a long time and they are widely available in Ireland. My preference is for capers preserved in salt, they are fatter and more succulent but use whatever you have, or can lay your hands on.
This month’s recipe is to celebrate the arrival of the new potatoes; it’s fresh and zingy, as summer food should be with herbs, feta, capers and a yoghurt, olive oil and lemon dressing.
Potato and Feta Salad
500g small waxy potatoes
4-5 spring onions or one red onion
1 tbs capers – rinsed well
2tbs black olives
handful flat leaf parsley
100mls olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
2 anchovies (optional)
3tbs natural yoghurt
Soak the capers in a bowl of fresh water
Cook the potatoes gently with their skins on; this will take 15-20 minutes depending on size. Take off the heat, drain and cool, then peel and chop into a large dice. Season with a little salt.
Tidy up the spring onions then chop finely or peel and finely chop the red onion
Rinse the capers in a sieve under the tap
Chop the parsley and mint
Put the potatoes, spring onion, capers, black olives and chopped herbs into a bowl and crumble the feta on top.
To make the dressing put the Dijon mustard, anchovies – if you are using them – olive oil, lemon juice and yoghurt into a jug and buzz until smooth, or, chop the anchovies finely and whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl
Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss together.
We hope you are well and to see you soon
Let’s jump into June!