May 31, 2015
Ultimate potato salad recipe with dill and chive flowers
It was the first British barbecue of the season, a rainy Sunday forcing the cooking and eating entirely indoors. I was put in charge of the potato salad, and felt I had to elevate this humble staple to something more than just spuds and mayonnaise.
And so this new potato salad recipe was born, inspired by a sauce I once used to devil eggs (from a Simon Hopkinson recipe) and with the addition of toasted buckwheat (thanks for the suggestion, John Whaite) which gives a nutty crunch, contrasting with the soft milkiness of Jersey Royals.
The dressing here is creamy and light, flecked with just enough spice to make this a salad people will return to, but won’t overshadow the main event. I actually used soya yoghurt, as I’m trying to control my dairy intake, and no one seemed to notice.
In The Herb and Flower Cookbook I used chive flowers to make a very quick version of garlic bread, here they add colour and warmth and just enough garlic heat to level out the seasoning. If you can’t find any, chop some chives over the top instead.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1.5 kg Jersey Royals, scrubbed, any larger ones halved
1 large bunch of radishes
3 celery stalks
600ml soured cream (or soya yoghurt, or Greek yoghurt)
2 tsp celery salt
Tabasco, to taste
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp dill fronds, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp buckwheat
2 chive flowers
Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring the the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until a sharp knife pierces them easily. Drain in a colander and douse them in cold water to stop them cooking more.
Meanwhile, wash the radishes and top and tail them, slicing them to around the thickness of a 5p piece. Wash the celery and slice it around 2-3mm thick. Place them both in your potato salad bowl with the cooled potatoes, and toss them together.
In a separate bowl, mix together the soured cream, celery salt, a few drops of Tabasco, the garam masala, cumin, dill fronds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour this dressing over the veg and toss well.
When you’re ready to serve, put the buckwheat in a heavy pan over a high heat and toast for 2-3 minutes – keep and eye on it and move it around the pan as you don’t want it to burn. Scatter them over the top of the potatoes.
Pick the petals off the chive flowers and drop them over the top of the salad, too. Serve immediately – any leftover will keep in the fridge for a day or two.