Reason to blog again # 136: Freebies.
...Who am I kidding; that's like reason two. When Abel & Cole (an organic food delivery company) emailed me and asked if I wanted a free produce box in exchange for a review here, I admit my half-arsed relaunch plans kicked up a gear, and - you know the rest. I like vegetables, okay? They keep me honest. Ish.
This particular box of vegetables was delivered by a very nice man called Rob yesterday morning, much in the manner of Father Christmas, if Father Christmas were in the habit of handing out lettuces.
Considering I hadn't been sure what to expect, I was impressed. The vegetables in particular (spring onions, several courgettes, a rather sweet little cucumber, charmingly grubby new potatoes and young carrots, two very photogenic little gem lettuces, and broad beans in their pods) were seasonal, fresh - the sort of thing you hope, rather than necessarily expect, organic food to be. If these were your vegetables for the week, you'd be pretty well off, in a hearty, 1940s-diet sort of way. They made me want to sit outside and pod broad beans into a vintage colander with a couple of small children - and I loathe small children.
The fruit - an armful of sweet pink apples, a bunch of fairtrade bananas and a little round melon (which my mum ate for breakfast this morning) - were equally in great condition and perfectly ripe, but considering it's the middle of Summer, I felt they could have branched out a bit more on this front. When I think of the fruit in season at the moment - strawberries! raspberries! peaches! - it seems a bit of a crime not to take advantage of them while they're around. Soft fruit isn't ideal for deliveries like this, but having gone to all the trouble of a sturdy box and some very well-thought-out packing, I'm sure they could have slipped a punnet of cherries or blueberries in, for example.
Yet it's hard to be critical in the face of dirty vegetables. I like Abel & Cole, and not just because they gave me free stuff (yeah, my allegiance is easy to win). I like their approach, their friendly notes slipped into the box, their ethics. I like their potatoes.
You know what I like to make with potatoes? Potato salad. I never said I was original.
My Favourite Potato Salad
Happy Love Strawberry
This salad originally used bacon, and I'm not usually a girl to leave bacon *out* of a dish, but we had smoked salmon in the freezer and the combination of smoked salmon, lemon juice and watercress is too good to ignore. I know, I know, there's a recession on. Feel free to use a packet of bacon instead - 6-8 rashers would do it.
Incidentally: this bowl? Isn't it just crying out for potato salad? Seriously, if someone asked me to design a bowl for potato salad, I would design this one. People ask me to do this sort of thing all the time.
700g/ 1lb 9oz new potatoes
200g smoked salmon
150ml sour cream
2tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
bunch of watercress
1. Lightly scrub the potatoes, getting off any dirt, but don't peel. Unless you have very small ones, I tend to chop mine into halves or quarters. Boil for 10-15 minutes until tender.
2. Mix together the sour cream, olive oil and lemon juice and season, with plenty of black pepper. Remove any tough stalks from the watercress - I tend to rip it up a little at this point, but you can coarsely chop it if you're classy.
3. Drain the potatoes and cool under cold running water in a colander. Cut the smoked salmon into strips with kitchen scissors (if you're using bacon you can either cut it into strips or just tear it up). Toss the potatoes in the dressing and toss in the watercress and salmon. Season to taste before serving.