Roasted Red Pepper Harissa Potato Salad

Red Potato SaladAt the tail-end of Summer, all those wonderful sweet peppers are in plentiful supply. I get very excited when I see the price of Red Peppers drop – it is a sure sign to start playing with these Late Summer gems in the kitchen. They are extremely versatile and roasting the peppers beforehand not only takes the flavour to a whole new level, but it also gives you even more options to consider. Blend up roasted peppers and use as you would tomatoes for exquisite pasta sauce. Add them to your usual hummus. Marinate them in Olive Oil and Garlic as part of a tapas spread. Add them to salads – the list goes on…

This dish makes good use of roasted peppers, and it certainly is a fiery spin on your usual potato salad. The chilis used are the longer Indian sundried variety available at any spice shop. They are well worth hunting down for their rich smoky flavour.  If you are sensitive to spice start slowly by adding just one chili to the mix and add more as needed.

700g Baby Potatoes, washed and halved
1 Bay Leaf
2 Red Peppers, washed
2-3 Dried Red Chilies
1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp dried Mint
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (approx.)
15ml fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Herbs to garnish

1. Split open chilies and remove seeds. Place skins in a bowl. Cover chili skins with hot water and leave to soak 1 hour until completely hydrated. Wash hands thoroughly after handling chilies.
2. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover well with water. Add salt and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Drain and arrange in serving dish.
2. Rub red peppers with olive oil and pierce with a toothpick. Place on a baking sheet and place in oven under a hot grill for 10 minutes until skins are charred. Use tongs to turn the peppers for even colour. Remove and once cool enough to handle place in a plastic bag for 10min. Remove skins once cooled.
3. Drain chilies and place in blender with all other dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust consistency, adding more olive oil if necessary. Adjust seasoning. Pour the harissa dressing over the potatoes and toss. Garnish with fresh herbs.

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