19 April 2013

IHCC - Royal Potato Salad

Oh, what a warm green mess this is and oh, how utterly delicious! I found myself humming Mellow Yellow as I peeled eggs last evening while making Yotam Ottolenghi's Royal Potato Salad.  Whirling the basil, parsley, Parmesan and pine nuts in the blender made me giddy with the luscious shade of green that resulted. I switched over to trying to remember the Seuss text to 'Green Eggs and Ham'. Whenever, I plopped warm potatoes and eggs, pesto, and peas together and added some mint and tossed, I could tell by the texture, color, and scent that we had a winner here!

The colors today don't even come close to the vibrant color of last evening's plate ... the taste, though, has improved. Much more depth to the pesto and the mint has come into its own. Peas are just as crunchy and the potatoes are like velvet - like velvet, I tell you!  So good. So green. Pretty healthy too!

I am so glad I decided to join the IHCC and the exploration of Ottolenghi's take on food! This particular recipe came out of his cook book called Plenty. I have already marked a few other recipes to try; judging by this one, I won't be disappointed. Royal Potato Salad meets the challenge to get back to your root veggies.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Royal Potato Salad


15 quail eggs (or 4 or 5 small chicken eggs)
1 c. petite peas (fresh or frozen)
1 ¾ lb. new potatoes (little baby sized are best)
1 c. basil leaves
½ c. (plus more for garnish) flat leaf parsley
⅓ c. pine nuts
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 c. olive oil
½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Small handful fresh mint leaves, sliced to ribbons for garnish
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Making the Salad:

  1. Place the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes for semi-soft boiled. Drain the water and let the eggs cool in cool water, cover the pan and set it aside for a few minutes. Set aside.
  2. Wash but don’t scrub the skin from the potatoes. Place them in a saucepan of cold water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer until they are just softened, but not split and falling apart. Drain the water and let them sit in cool water for a few minutes. Drain again and set them aside, covered to keep warm.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, place the washed parsley and basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese in a food processor and whiz to make a brilliant green paste.
  4. Add the olive oil in a drizzle and continue whizzing until an emulsion forms.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the pesto into a large bowl.
  7. Using the same pan that you cooked the eggs in, bring some water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch for just 2 minutes. Drain the peas and refresh in ice water.
  8. Gently fold the potatoes and pesto together. Add the drained peas and toss gently.
  9. Peel and cut the eggs over the bowl of salad into large chunks. Add the white wine vinegar, half the mint leaves and fold them gently into the salad so as not to break the eggs up too much.
  10. Correct the salt and pepper and add the ribbons of mint leaves. Serve the salad warm. 


  1. Definitely a royal potato salad--not the ordinary type. And better for you than the mayo based ones.

    Don't you love when you know a dish is going to be good before you even taste it?

    I'm going to be singing Mellow Yellow the rest of the day.

  2. Now that is no ordinary potato salad! I love all the flavours & all those colours, a great salad!

  3. This looks delicious! Now I have a long list of recipes to try, and it is only the third week of YO! I am loving all the recipes that I've seen.
    Your salad looks so good, these would be a winner in my house, as we are all potato lovers!
    Have a great weekend!

  4. That's one very special potato salad. I love that it's dressed with the pesto - a great alternative to the more traditional mayo dressing. I've looked at this one several times in "Plenty" - must go back and bookmark it now.

  5. I think it looks delicious. I love pesto and will have to give this one a try. Aren't pine nuts expensive. I buy them but it pisses me off to spend $12.00 for a small bag. Excuse my language!

    1. Haha! Pine nuts are really expensive, but I love them so much that I scout for good bulk prices at the area supermarkets and health food stores ... I also only buy just what I need for one or two recipes so that they're not lying around. I think they go rancid pretty fast because of the oil content ... toasted and finished with just a pinch of salt and hint of smoked paprika, they are nutty heaven for me!

  6. As soon as I spotted this recipe in his book I knew that I was going to be making it. I'm absolutely crazy about potato salad. This recipe sounds so fresh with all the herbs and those darn new potatoes are so creamy and addictive. I can't wait to make this one!

  7. I have this recipe tagged to make but I think I might have to make it sooner seeing your post. It looks so good! ;-)


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