My favorite part of a Moroccan meal isn’t the main dish. I have never really loved meat and, at least with my mother-in-law, most of the meals are pretty heavy in that department. No, my favorite part of the meal is the salad assortment that comes out first. I think my love of tapas in Spain and cicchetti in Italy inspire my love of the salad offerings. Truthfully, I’d be happy to just eat these and nothing else. I used to think that there was a specific salad served with each main dish, and while this can be true, often times salads are prepared based on what is on hand. I once made an orange and salty black olive salad, and while it was delicious, I learned that simply wasn’t done. So let’s just say traditionally speaking there are a lot of unspoken “rules” about what can go together and what doesn’t.
This salad is super simple and it’s a good break from the traditionally heavy, mayo-based American potato salads. I really like to use a good yellow potato like Yukon Gold as they seem to cook quicker and not turn to mush as easily. I would serve this salad with a savory chicken or lamb tajine. (You can find a link to many of my recipes by checking out the recipe index.)
- 1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled
- 1/4 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- several stalks of chopped fresh cilantro
- **note the dressing made for this salad will be much more than you need to dress the salad. I make this as a base vinaigrette and save it to use for other salads.
- 1) Place a large pot, half-full of boiling water on the stovetop and boil.
- 2) Peel and place potatoes in the water whole.
- 3) Boil until the potatoes are tender but don't fall apart when you poke them with a fork.
- 4) Drain the water and allow the potatoes to cool. Once you can handle them, cut them in half horizontally and in half again so that you have 4 slices. Cut into strips, and then cube in 1/4" size chunks,
- 5) To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar and oil, as well salt, pepper, and cumin.
- 6) Gently toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette using 3-4 Tbsp of the mixture. You will want to coat the potatoes but don't want them to be swimming in it.
- 7) Finally, top the potatoes with the chopped cilantro.
- This salad can be served cold or at room temperature.
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