Today’s recipe is one which is a real no-brainer to have in your repertoire, especially at the height of barbecue season – the all-time, absolute, ultimate potato salad! As you can see from the pic this beauty of a dish is absolutely loaded with all the good stuff, with flavour matches all over the show. It starts with a base of gorgeous waxy Perla Potatoes which just happen to be (I kid you not) my go-to spud for salads, so I am very happy to be working together with them on this post! When cooking these little waxy gems I use the opposite technique to boiling floury ones to mash – these get dropped into boiling water for about 16-18 minutes until they can just be pierced through with the tip of a knife. Then after draining I add ⅓ of the garlicky-lemon dressing already so they start getting infused with flavour while still warm. Once cold they are layered up with blanched asparagus (or green beans), soft-boiled eggs, crispy, salty pancetta, crunchy pine nuts and finished off with a little sharp red onion and a snip of chives….so bloody delicious! (Always the first salad to disappear at any take-a-plate gathering)
Aaaand in other news – I have been madly house-hunting again…it has been slim pickings for quite some time to be sure, but I am determined to find the right place! I had a couple of outings at the end of last week including to Andiamo (such a fun wee drinking/eating spot) and Gemmayze Street, as well as a few nights in with friends, but the highlight would have to be the latest Cirque de Soleil performance of Kooza. I have been lucky enough to go to quite a few of their circus extravaganzas, but seriously I think this one is just about the best yet – and of course it was especially nice to see it with family, including Rich and Raven who nipped up for the weekend. Right then, so much house prep/work/book stuff to do – feel a bit stressed just thinking about it…!
1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped chives (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 free range eggs
700grams Wilcox Perlas Potatoes
80grams pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped
20 spears asparagus (or green beans)
½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
Put the mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir through all of the remaining dressing ingredients and check for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add the eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain well then leave to cool in cold water. Bring a second big pot of water to boil, add the potatoes and cook for about 16-18 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked. You want them to still have a firmish texture, not to be soft or flaky. While the potatoes are cooking fry the pancetta or bacon until crispy. Drain the potatoes well, slice larger ones in half and immediately put in a container with the cooked pancetta and mix through a third of the dressing so that the garlicky lemon flavours infuse into the potatoes. Cool in the fridge. (Salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 6 hours). To prepare the asparagus, halve them length-ways then drop into a frying pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes – I like them to still have a little firm crunch. Drain well, refresh under cold running water and wrap in a paper towel then store in the fridge until serving. To serve stir through the remaining dressing to refresh the salad, chop the eggs (reserving a couple of the yolks to crumble on as garnish), stir through with most of the asparagus and pine nuts. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved asparagus, pine nuts, egg yolks, chives and red onion.