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Posts tagged ‘potato’

Warm Green Bean,Fennel and Potato Salad

I had this dish when I lived in Italy, if memory serves me this is pretty darn close to the salad I had in Naples. It was a warm salad with assorted vegetables in a citrusy dressing. We had it for lunch with grilled fish. There is nothing complicated about this it has simple ingredients and flavors that work so well together. Eat alone or with grilled meat, fish or even eggs. The potato and fennel are roasted in the oven and the green beans are blanched so they are still somewhat crisp. The dressing is roasted garlic, olive oil, lemon juice. Toss it all together and you have a quick and nutritious vegetable dish.

Serves: 4-6 depending on serving size

2  potatoes (yukon gold or russet)

1/2 lb green beans

1 small fennel bulb cut in half and quartered

the juice of two lemons + plus zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

4-6 cloves roasted garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Pre heat oven to 425. Put the garlic cloves in their skin on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and close to make a packet, place in oven for 6-8 minutes until garlic is soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut into bite size pieces.Cut fennel into bite size pieces. Line sheet pan with parchment and place potatoes and fennel on sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oven roast until potatoes and fennel are lightly browned  about 25-30 minutes. Stir them to turn over so they brown evenly on all sides.

While the potatoes are roasting make the dressing, juice the lemons and add to the blender along with the zest, add the garlic and whiz a few times to blend the lemon and garlic, slowly add the olive oil through the top of the blender so that you have an emulsion, season with salt and pepper. If you don’t want to use a blender just smash the soft garlic in mortar with a little salt, add to small mixing bowl with lemon juice, zest and olive oil. Whisk until it emulsifies.

Clean the green beans and blanch in boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes, remove with spyder or slotted spoon. Reduce oven temperature to 350.

Put the green beans, potatoes and fennel in mixing bowl, pour the dressing on and toss to combine. Place in baking dish and put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes just to warm it up, the vegetables will absorb the flavors in the dressing.


Gheymeh is a Persian stew, wildly popular for large gatherings and some consider it almost mandatory to bring to “potluck” functions. I used to make this stew at least once a week, it’s made with ground meat (beef, lamb or veal) in a tomato based sauce with yellow split peas and roasted potatoes. You can sub other vegetables for potatoes, like eggplant or zucchini but I like to use potatoes for this stew. The Persian cook that taught me this dish used french fries, I prefer roasting pieces of potato. You spice with turmeric, saffron and cinnamon and eat it with rice. It’s sort of  like a Persian version of a Bolognese sauce. This is great comfort food that is easy to prepare. I think it tastes even better the next day if you have any leftovers.


1 lb ground meat (beef,lamb or veal)

1 onion chopped

1 (4.5 oz) tube of tomato paste or 3/4 of a 6 oz can

1/2 tsp turmeric

Pinch of cinnamon (approximately 1/8 tsp or less)

3 1/2-4 cups water (start with 3 1/2 add more if needed)

1/3 cup dried yellow split peas

2 medium size potatoes cut into bite size pieces

pinch of saffron

2 tbs lemon juice

2 dried limes or 1/4 cup  lemon or lime juice

pinch of sumac (for potatoes)


Pre-heat oven to 425, spread potatoes on parchment lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle with some sumac. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes stirring frequently so that potatoes are browned on all sides. Remove from oven and set aside.

Roasted Potatoes

In small saucepan bring some water to a boil, add the split peas and boil for 15 minutes, you are par cooking them so they will soften a little..Rinse, drain and set aside.

In large deep skillet saute the onion in some olive oil until its translucent and soft, add the ground meat and turmeric and cook just until the meat is cooked and not red. Add the tomato paste, stir until its mixed with the meat and cook for a few minutes, add the water, split peas, cinnamon, salt and pepper and the dried limes or citrus juice. NOTE: If you are using dried limes poke a few holes or slits in the limes with the edge of a sharp knife before adding to the stew. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer for about 1 1/2  hours the sauce will be thick and most of the liquid will have evaporated. Stir frequently and add more water if you see that too much of the liquid has evaporated. When the stew is done mix saffron with the lemon juice and add along with the roasted potatoes, stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes just to heat the potato through. Serve immediately with rice.