The growing summer heat reminds me how much I miss Kuwait, where I lived for four years and where my daughters were infants. Food takes me back there. I thought I’d share this recipe for potato salad with an Arab twist, great for summer get-togethers in the backyard, like a picnic-themed backyard wedding. The recipe comes from May Bsisu’s The Arab Table. To yield enough salad for a small wedding, I’ve supplemented May’s ingredient list with quantities that yield 40 servings.
Ingredients for Salatat Batata (Parve)
6 Servings (Quantities for 40 servings in parentheses)
- 3 lbs. white potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (for 40 servings, 20 lbs.)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (1 2/3 cups)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 2/3 cups)
- Salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (3 Tablespoons)
- 4 cloves garlic, mashed (26 cloves)
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (3 cups)
Place potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches (for 40 servings, you’ll need a few pots or cook the potatoes in batches). Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold running water. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake vigorously to blend. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss with wooden spoons to coat. Garnish with the cilantro, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
If you prepare the salad a day ahead, do not add the garlic until just before serving.