Some things are just better warm.
And, umm, salads.
Well, that's what my brother used to tell my mom when she made potato salad.
I think it started as an accident – one day my mom had left the boiling of the potatoes for the salad rather too late, and after hurriedly chopping and mixing, she brought the salad to the table still warm. It was love at first bite for my brother, and from that day on potato salad in our house always had to be served warm. If it had been made well in advance, it had to microwaved so that it could be served warm. It was just better that way 🙂
With the chilly weather we've been having here, the idea of a cold potato salad sounds tremendously unappealing, so when I served some peppered smoked mackerel fillets for lunch the other day, my thoughts turned naturally to my brother's beloved warm potato salad. To add some colour and to cut through the richness of the mackerel, I tossed in some finely diced red onions, a good dollop of wholegrain mustard, and some dried dill.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a herb that's been cultivated since Roman times and probably originated in Eastern Europe. It's a member of the carrot family and is closely related to fennel Both the seeds and leaves are eaten. Here are some bits and pieces for the herb trivia buffs:
In the northeastern U.S. and adjoining parts of Canada, dill seed is sometimes known as "meeting-seed". This is because the Puritans and Quakers would give their children dill seeds to chew during long church meetings, due to dill's mild hunger-suppressant qualities.
In medieval Europe it was believed that dill protected against curses and witchcraft. It was also thought to make one drowsy.
One tablespoon of dill seed contains more calcium than a cup of milk.
WARM POTATO SALAD WITH RED ONION, DILL AND WHOLEGRAIN MUSTARD (serves 2)
2 large waxy potatoes
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp good mayonnaise
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp dried dill
salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes, then place them in cold water to cool down. When cool enough to touch, peel and chop into large cubes.
Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Check seasonin and add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve while the potatoes are still warm, with smoked pepper mackerel fillets and a green salad.