I have no idea if Ibiza island is known on other continents, but for us, Europeans, its name usually brings to mind bad techno music and groups of young drunk or/and drugged revellers. It doesn’t seem exactly a destination for calm holidays in the sun and even less for food adventures. Therefore, when I saw the upcoming episode of my beloved Arte tv culinary series was to be set on Ibiza, I was extremely curious. The Ibiza cuisine seemed fantastic (quite obvious, when one thinks of the climate…) and particularly this summery potato salad, which I prepared the following day.
I have slightly modified the recipe (hence the “style” mention) and I’m particularly happy about the main change: using Japanese dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi) instead of the originally listed dried shredded fish. If I saw the above dish name on a restaurant menu, I’d never order it thinking it’s another inedible arrogant fusion idea, but it has actually proved one of the most successful substitutions I have ever made! Katsuobushi fitted so perfectly all the ingredients, next time I’ll simply cover the whole plate in these delicious fish flakes! Watching the katsuobushi dance on top of the salad (if you have ever used it, you know what I mean), I have drizzled some Japanese mayonnaise, just like I do with okonomiyaki. All I can say is it was as perfect as it is on okonomiyaki!
If you can watch Arte tv, I strongly encourage you to see their fascinating “Cuisines des terroirs” (in French)/”Zu Tisch” (in German) series presenting regional, usually countryside cuisines, presented by home cooks. Many of the dishes are completely unknown outside of their region, not to mention the country. There are replay options on the Arte tv website, as well as the recipes from each episode.
TIPS: Make sure you salt the potatoes as soon as they are squashed and still warm. They’ll absorb salt better than cold ones.
Anchovies were suggested on the Arte tv website, so if you have the dried fish or katsuobushi, you can skip those.
The original recipe included orange zest salt. I didn’t have it, so I simply sprinkled some ground black pepper.
Take a very big plate! Mine was too small and the salad looked very messy, as you can see. Moreover it wasn’t easy to serve.
The below amounts can be easily changed according to your preferences (more or less peppers/eggs/potatoes).
Preparation: about 45 minutes
Ingredients (serves two as the main course):
5 medium potatoes
1 big ball pepper (yellow or red)
1 small red onion
2 medium tomatoes (or several mini tomatoes)
(4 canned/salted anchovy fillets)
dried fish or katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
ground black pepper or orange zest salt, if you have it
Sauce : olive oil+lemon juice or wine vinegar
Boil the potatoes, preferably skin on.
Hard-boil the eggs.
Put the pepper under the oven grill (you can also bake it in the very hot oven, 220°C/about 428°F but the pepper will be softer and it’ll take more time). As soon as one side blackens, turn it, turn it once more, making sure all the sides are well charred. Put it into a bowl and cover it (the moisture and the heat will make the peeling easier). Put aside for about 10-15 minutes.
Grill the dried fish and shred the flesh.
As soon as the potatoes can be handled (they should still remain warm!), peel them, cut into big chunks and place on the plate.
Crush them slightly with a fork and sprinkle with salt.
Peel the eggs and cut them into quarters. Place onto the plate.
Peel the pepper, cut into strips and add to the plate.
Cut the tomatoes into half-slices (or in two, if you have mini tomatoes), add to the salad .
Slice the onion on the mandolin and add together with chives (if using) and chopped anchovies (if you use salted ones, rinse them well).
Finally add the grilled shredded fish or katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
Sprinkle the salad with the mixture of olive oil and lemon juice.
(If you use katsuobushi, you might want to test the salad drizzled with some Japanese mayonnaise too.)