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Morning Sun
  • Jim Hillibish: Try Armenian Potato Salad, and forget the mayonnaise

  • Armenians love grilled meats, especially lamb in olive oil and rosemary or mint. They set up portable charcoal grills on roadways to feed travelers, often in kebabs.

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  • Armenia sits at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Wars have scattered its people all over the Middle East, France, Russia and the United States.
    Despite this, they’ve maintained their ethnic heritage in tightly knit communities. Their culinary history binds them.
    Nations surrounding Armenia are famed for their highly spiced food. Armenians take an opposite approach. They believe if food is fresh, it needs a little more than salt, pepper and perhaps some garlic. Mint is a favorite.
    Armenians love grilled meats, especially lamb in olive oil and rosemary or mint. They set up portable charcoal grills on roadways to feed travelers, often in kebabs.
    Your best chance at sampling this cuisine is in Middle Eastern restaurants. Ask for Armenian dishes.
    Armenian preserved meats are dried to concentrate flavor. They include a ground beef hot sausage and a salami made with veal. You may find them in ethnic delis.
    Armenian Potato Salad is a favorite side dish. It strips away the usual thoughts of mayonnaise, mustard and celery seed to make the dish a nearly pure potato experience. As with most Armenian recipes, ingredients are at a minimum and preparation times short. You’ll find it a welcome switch from other potato salads.
    ARMENIAN POTATO SALAD
    4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled, boiled and cooled
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon dried mint or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped rosemary
    1/2 large, red onion, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup olive oil  
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    Slice potatoes. Mix remaining ingredients and toss with slices. Chill covered at least three hours to meld flavors. Serves 4.

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