Just about every nation in the world has its own version of potato salad and they vary from the boring old mayonnaise and sliced egg variety to delights such as today’s Italian basil-infused version.
This is such a tasty, simple summer dish that it goes with just about anything you can think of – from ostrich steak, parma ham and even smoked salmon to the lightly crumbed calamari we will be serving it with today.
I always think the secret of a tasty potato salad is to find real young and tender new potatoes and to serve them unpeeled with fresh basil, chives, some parsley, garlic and crunchy, raw red onion – and that is the way we will do them today.
Calamari is delicate and the flavour should not be overpowered by too much spice which is why we will serve today's crumbed steaks with just a little sweet chilli sauce, a few fresh mint leaves and fresh lemon or lime wedges.
To serve four portions of calamari steak and Italian potato salad you need:
For the calamari
4x120g steaks (defrosted if bought frozen)
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 cup coarse bread crumbs (we always use Kellogg’s corn flake crumbs)
2 lemons or limes, quartered
For the potato salad
16-24 new potatoes
1/3 cup fresh basil leaf
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 peeled and finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 peeled and chopped cloves of garlic
Salt and black pepper
Prepare the potato salad first because it needs to rest for at least an hour for the flavours to blend nicely.
To prepare the potato salad
Bring as pot of salted water to the boil, add potatoes and boil for 10-14 minutes.
When potatoes are just tender, drain and set aside to cool.
When they are cool enough t handle, but still warm, half or quarter the potatoes (depending on size) and place in a large mixing bowl.
In a blender mix together the garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Sprinkle the chopped onion and chives over the potato, then pour basil and oil dressing over the potatoes and mix in gently and set aside for flavours to blend.
To prepare the calamari
Pat the steaks dry with kitchen cloth.
Pour the crumbs on to a wooden board and press the steaks down hard on the crumbs, making sure that both sides are well covered.
In a large frying pan heat a little cooking oil and fry the steaks over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side.
Remove steak from heat and place on kitchen towels to absorb extra oil.
Serve immediately with potato salad. Garnish with slices of wedges of fresh lime or lemon.