Hello friends and let me tell you about this bomb ass potato salad.
This is a potato salad that can be your MAIN at dinner. I’m not even kidding. ::whispered gasps all around:: It’s got all the makings of a leading lady. When Ottolenghi calls it royal, he means it (actually it’s a reference to the type of potatoes he uses, but I really feel like it’s dual-purpose here because YASS KWEEEN etc etc).
On its own, the loose-ish pesto you make as a sauce is fairly wonderful, and I can see it going with a wide variety of foods-that-are-sort-of-vehicles (pasta, I love you, but girl you know I am talking about you). In my opinion, two things elevate this recipe beyond a regular pesto-potato salad: mint (or sorrel if you follow the original recipe) and soft-boiled eggs.
The eggs and their slightly-runny yolks blend into the sauce and make everything sorta creamy and wonderful. The mint and peas make this super refreshing and springy. I’m running a pretty large lady boner for this salad if you couldn’t tell. I’m not even a huge potato fan, but I’m pretty sure you should make this immediately.
The added pleasure of this is that, because it comes from Ottolenghi’s cookbook, you get to read it all in a British accent. If that isn’t fun, well then I guess I just don’t know what fun is says the girl who forced her husband to come birdwatching with her last weekend.
Royal potato salad
15 quail eggs (I used 4 normal eggs)
1 cup petite peas (frozen)
1 3/4 lbs new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals, washed but not scrubbed
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup parsley leaves, plus a little extra chopped to garnish
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 oz)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
bunch sorrel or mint leaves (about 1/2 cup) finely shredded
salt and pepper
Place the quail eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for between 30 seconds (soft-boiled) and 2 minutes (hard-boiled), depending on how you like them cooked. Refresh in cold water, then peel. For normal eggs: lower into boiling water and cook 6-8 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice and water for a few minutes, then peel.
Blanch the peas in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh (if you’re really good you can repurpose the egg water for this and not have to boil water twice!). Set aside.
In a separate pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are soft but not falling apart.
While the potatoes are cooking place the basil, parsley, pine nuts, parmesan, and garlic in a food processor and blitz to a paste. Add the oil and pulse until you get a runny pesto (note: I used 2/3 cup oil and found it to be plenty). Pour into a large serving bowl.
Drain the potatoes, then cut in two as soon as you can handle them (they will absorb more flavor when hot). Add tot he bowl and toss with the pesto, vinegar, sorrel or mint, and peas. Mix well, even crushing the potatoes slightly so all the flavors mix. Taste and adjust seasoning; be generous with pepper.
Cut the eggs in half (or quarters for normal eggs) and gently fold into the salad. Garnish with chopped parsley.