In her debut cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen, author Maureen Abood brings together evocative flavors to create delicious, healthy dishes that showcase exquisite Lebanese cuisine—and Maureen’s authoritative presence as a new expert in modern Middle Eastern cooking. Featuring both traditional Lebanese recipes and fresh ideas using Maureen’s inventive blend of Middle Eastern flavors, this book takes an ingredient-focused approach using what’s in season. Everyday cooks will find easy access and great success with this exotic cuisine through Maureen’s knowing, inviting voice and her ability to simplify even the more complex Lebanese recipes.
Here, my friends, is a shining example of all that is healthful about Lebanese cuisine: a potato salad that is low in fat but high in flavor, thanks to the combination of scallions, lemon, and mint. Think summer picnic, but also warm right from the stovetop as a delicious side dish for meats, fish, or sandwiches. Dress the potatoes while they’re still very warm, but wait to add the mint until the potatoes have cooled a little—otherwise the mint will turn dark from the heat and will lose the beautiful green that makes the salad so pretty. This potato salad is as delicious the day after it is made; cover and refrigerate overnight, and then bring to room temperature and add more fresh mint, stirring gently.
• 3 pounds / 1-1/2 kg russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch / 1-1/2 cm dice
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• Juice of 3 lemons
• 1⁄4 cup / 60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
• 10 fresh mint leaves, cut in chiffonade
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover by 1 inch/ 2.5 cm with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, and then remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium. After about 6 minutes, test a sample of the potatoes every minute or so with the tip of a paring knife. They are ready when the knife cuts into the potato with resistance, very al dente, about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will turn to mush when you stir them with the dressing.
Drain the potatoes and gently transfer them into a serving bowl. Season the warm potatoes with the remaining teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil, stirring gently with a metal spoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings. When the potatoes have cooled down for 10 minutes, add the scallions and all but a tablespoon of the mint, stirring gently to combine. Top with more mint as a garnish.
More from Rose Water and Orange Blossoms:• Graybeh Shortbread Cookie Recipe
• Labneh Dip with Crushed Red Pepper and Mint Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms © 2015 by Maureen Abood, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.