Thursday, 23 August 2012

RRC Roasted potato salad with black olives and greens

It was a total failure in following instructions.  And yet I was quite pleased with myself.  Dinner tasted great and I had finally made a recipe for Dom's Random Recipes Challenge (#19).  Before explaining the challenge, let me tell you that I really enjoyed making my own version of Lukas Volger's Black Olive and Roasted Potato Salad with Arugula, even if I didn't read the recipe and then threw in my disaster cauliflower cupcakes!

The Random Recipe Challenge has long fascinated me.  Dom of Belleau Kitchen challenges readers each month to pick a recipe at random, make it and share it. I have been called a control freak on occasion.  Random means a whole lot of letting go.  It is just not me.  Then he lured me in with all the posts about bloggers bookshelves.  And very kindly followed up with a simple challenge.  Just pick a recipe from your book collection at random.  (See Jacqueline's list of some of the previous challenges.)

One reason I decided to join in was that I found I had a really easy way of picking a random recipe.  The idea of trying to pick a book from my shelves at random is just too hard.  I have another way.  Fortunately I am the sort of person who likes to list all my cookbooks on my blog, with the number of pages for each book.  So I numbered the list and used the random number generator to find a book and then a page within the book.

I thought I had the whole random recipe thing all sorted.  Then the first recipe randomly chosen from the book Veggie Burgers Every Which Way was pretzel buns.  Been there, done that, blogged the nervous breakdown.  Noooooooooo!  I wasn't sure of random recipe etiquette.  Make a recipe I have already blogged, pick another book, pick another recipe from the same book?  I chose the last option.

I had a quick look at the Black Olive and Roasted Potato Salad with Arugula recipe before heading out to the supermarket.  I got home and found that the recipe called for the potatoes to be roasted in an olive tapenade dressing rather than scattered with black olives.  I decided to make some GlutenFreeHappyTummy cauliflower cupcakes to serve with the salad.  They were soggy and messy.  (Caralyn recommends wringing the moisture out of the cauliflower next time.)

I foolishly threw the cauliflower crumbs in with the salad before I was smart enough to photograph it and pretend I never did anything so reckless.  Later I got disillusioned and threw in Sylvia's leftover vegies.  You might spot her abandoned peas in the top photo.

I almost didn't blog this.  Then I decided to throw caution to the wind.  I loved the salad.  I just had problems following the instructions.  I hope Dom is forgiving. Honestly I would have taken a perfect picture if I hadn't been rushing around finding a pouch for Dolly (who was Sylvia's baby kangaroo), giving shoulder rides to Sylvia, running her bath, preparing her dinner, cajoling her to eat it, cleaning up playdough and playing hide and seek.  I might have taken the photo after she went to bed but I had to organise photos, do my washing, read blogs and respond to emails.

The next night, E didn't want dinner.  I think he was sick that night.  Or he had decided the salad had too many green leaves for his liking.  I just can't remember back to a few weeks ago.  Anyway, it meant there was plenty for me.  Perhaps even a bit much.  Especially when I served it with corn on the cob, brussels sprouts, tofu bacon and fried cornbread.  Definitely a meal of random yumminess!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Chickpea crackers and sweet potato stew
Two years ago: Fitzroy Gardens with soup
Three years ago: Shopping, Sylvia and Soup (Fennel, Lentil and Rice)
Four years ago: Shepherd’s Pie Traditions
Five years ago: BBoM Raspberry Brownies for Two

Roasted potato salad with black olives and greens
Adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
serves 3 as a main meal

450g potatoes, diced
450g sweet potato, peeled and dice
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt
2 large shallots, finely sliced
80g of a mix of rocket, spinach and lettuce
2-3 tbsp chopped black olives

Dressing:
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Cook potato for about 5 minutes in boiling water on the stovetop until starting to cook on the outside but still uncooked in the middle.  Toss potato and sweet potato chunks, olive oil and salt in two large roasting trays to give space to crisp up.  Roast at 220 C for about 1 hour or until cooked and crispy around the edges.  (NB my oven is quite slow - but I always check every 20-30 minutes unless I forget about the vegies altogether!)  After 30 minutes I mixed the shallots with the potatoes and kept roasting.

Meanwhile make the dressing by lightly whisking all ingredients (or shaking in a sealed jar).  Toss half the dressing through the salad leaves.  Mix potatoes, sweet potatoes, chives and pile on top of the leaves.  Drizzle with remaining dressing.  Scatter with black olives.  Serve warm or room temperature.

On the stereo:
Oliver (Soundtrack)

16 comments:

  1. This looks incredibly tasty! And I think your photos are lovely :)

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    1. Thanks Hannah - I just had wished I had not mixed in the cauli rice before taking the photos! What was I thinking!

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  2. I think random yumminess is the best sort sometimes :) And, I must confess to being just a teeny bit glad to hear of your cauliflower cupcake challenges. I tried making cauliflower chocolate fudge a few weeks ago and it was awful! I am not sure if that will ever get posted or not...at least you saved some of your cupcakes here!

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    1. Thanks Kari - cauli is so versatile that it is hard to keep up with it. I had a better day with cauliflower today in a pizza base but putting it in a chocolate fudge sounds adventurous - I almost wish you would post about it because now I am curious

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    2. I think I will eventually because it is one of those disasters that deserves to be shared :P I need a recipe success to balance it out though!

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  3. I love the sound of the flavours in this! It appeals to me so much more than regular potato salads which I'm not particularly fond of. It sounds great with tofu bacon on top too, I'll have to try it one day.

    The random recipe challenge sounds like fun too!

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    1. Thanks Mel - it was far more satisfying than regular potato salads but I am a sucker for roasted potatoes

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  4. I could never turn down a roasted potato and this does sound lovely. As for following instructions, it wouldn't be good to do that all the time, would it?.

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    1. Thanks Phil - roasted potatoes are food of the gods - at least I got them right :-)

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  5. It looks good to me! Sometimes the accidents and random bits and pieces can really make the dish.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - accidents are great for learning about what does and doesn't work!

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  6. i'm loving your selection technique!... very sophisticated... as is this dish, I think it looks lush!... sorry it's taken me so long to comment but I must have deleted your email by mistake yesterday and i've been searching blogs ever since!... it really does look good and the kind of meal I would eat... glad it was such a success for you this month and thanks for entering!

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    1. Hi Dom - I deleted an email about my blog a while back and never found the site they were emailing about (which interested me) so I am impressed you found my blog :-) Am always happy to join in a challenge that pushes me to try something different and yummy - hope to join in again!

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  7. That sounds like one fabulous salad! I love that you threw the cauliflower cupcakes into it! And never too much green in a salad, I say. :)

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