Royal Potato Salad


You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show You of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
Erma Bombeck

I was going to post this potato salad along with the previous pork tenderloin recipe, but I felt that it deserved a place of its own…Michael is a huge potato salad eater and I haven’t made one yet that he hasn’t liked and this one is just a great surprise for any season since fresh herbs are always available in the markets.  I still had a small bag of last season’s fresh/frozen small peas from the vegetable stand.

Royal Potato Salad
adapted from Plenty: Yotam Ottolenghi
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

12 quail eggs or 3-4 small store-bought or fresh eggs
1¾ pounds small yellow new potatoes, scrubbed, I used fingerlings the large ones cut into quarters and cut the smaller fingerlings in half
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus chopped parsley for garnish
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen peas, blanched
⅓ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
* optional Pinches of tajin  seasoning

1. In a medium saucepan, cover the quail eggs with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the eggs for 3 minutes for hard-boiled eggs (or about 30 seconds for soft-boiled eggs). Run the eggs under cold water until cool, then peel and set aside. Alternately, cook small eggs 5-6 minutes, peel and quarter or halve them.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are soft but not falling apart, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the basil with the parsley, Parmesan, pine nuts and garlic and blend until combined. Add the olive oil and pulse until a runny pesto forms. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl.

4. Drain the potatoes and cut them in half as soon as they’re cool enough to touch. (They will absorb more flavor when they’re hot.) Toss the potatoes with the pesto, peas, mint and vinegar until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Cut the eggs in half and gently fold them into the salad. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately or at room temperature.