The very idea of roasted potatoes makes me smile and fills my heart with warmth. Any given day, I can substitute all bread and rice dinner staples with roasted potatoes. The beautiful earthy smell, the crispy outside and the soft inside – roasted potatoes become the epitome of comfort food.

Even in this age of fitness awareness, people are still sceptic about the health advantages of potatoes. While one medium potato contains only 164 calories, 0.2 grams fat and 0 grams cholesterol. They are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fibre which makes them an excellent source of energy.

Since I don’t believe in counting calories, the simple rule in my kitchen is to avoid processed and packaged food as much as is possible and go for local and seasonal produce. Counting preservatives and chemicals on packaged food is far more important than counting calories.

Who says potato salad needs to be heavy? Actually potato salads can be really healthy and satisfying, if we avoid drowning them in mayonnaise and cream based dressings.

This lightened up, warm Potato salad with Peas is dressed up with salty, tangy and very flavourful Chimchurri sauce. It’s vinegar, olive oil and herbs based sauce of Argentinian origin. Quite simple to make with both fresh and dried herbs, this sauce has many variations and is usually served with grilled and roasted meats but goes equally well with many vegetables too.

You can chop the herbs and garlic for a more chunky texture, instead of blending them in a food processor. It’s not necessary for the Chimichuri sauce to have a bright green colour, it can be brownish or orangish, depending on the ratio of ingredients used. It stays well for quite a few days, just like any other pickle because oil and vinegar work like natural preservatives.

With the added robustness from peas, crunch from onions and creaminess from hard boiled eggs, this warm Potato salad with Peas makes a light lunch on its own or a most satisfying side for any elaborate meal.

Ingredients:

For Potato Salad with Peas:

1 kg potatoes

1+1/2 cup peas

2 medium onions

4 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper for seasoning

For Chimichurri Dressing:

1 cup coriander/cilantro leaves

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoon red chilli flakes

1/4 cup vinegar

salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

This Is What You Do:

Preheat oven at 200 degrees C.

Peel and cut potatoes and onions into big chunks. (If using new or baby potatoes, there is no need to peel).

Lightly grease an oven proof dish. Add potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover the dish with foil sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.(Baking time for baby potatoes shall be less).

Remove the sheet, add peas and onions. Bake uncovered another 15-20 minutes or till the vegetables are fork tender and slightly charred on top.

While the vegetables are in the oven hard boil eggs and make the Chimichuri dressing.

Puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Set aside.

Peel the eggs, cut in halves. Keep covered and warm.

To serve, place the eggs over baked salad. Pour the dressing and serve warm.

Serves 4