The obligatory presence of boiled potatoes slathered with mayonnaise or salad cream at BBQs is something I never understood. Mushy, processed and sickly tasting: my association with potato salads. I actually do love potato salads, I grew up with them and had them once a week but just not in an amorphous slop. This is my East Med potato salad: fresh and creamy from hot potatoes absorbing good quality olive oil and zippy from fresh herbs and red wine vinegar. I had this with fresh grilled mackerel but this salad would go with just about any grilled fish.
650g of small/medium Cypriot potatoes or other waxy / salad potatoes
200g of raw whole beetroot (small ones are best)
60g of red onion finely diced
10g of fresh mint
10g of fresh dill
5g of fresh chives
100ml of good quality olive oil
20ml of good quality red wine vinegar
2 boiled eggs
2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley
Pinch of salt
- Cook the beetroot whole in a saucepan of boiling water until soft. When cool peel and set aside
- Peel and then boil the potatoes in salted water until soft
- Roughly chop the dill, mint and chives and place into a big bowl. Pour in the olive oil and add the salt
- While the potatoes are still hot roughly cut into chunks and place into the bowl with the herbs and olive oil. Stir and cover with cling film. Leave for 10 minutes to absorb the flavours
- Cut the beetroot into slices or chunks
- Quarter the eggs
- Uncover the potatoes and add a layer of beetroot and then the egg
- Drizzle the vinegar on top as evenly as possible
- Finally scatter the red onions and parsley on top.
Preeta Samarasan says
Lady N, this looks fabulous. I use the same basic technique (hot potatoes in olive oil, and then adding an acid at the end) for many similar salads. I usually use new potatoes, and sometimes, if not serving fish with it, I will put smoked herring right into the salad. Sometimes I put in capers, and often I put in olives. I usually use shallots, like your red onion. Sometimes I add a tiny bit of mustard and/or creme fraiche, which add a little richness without producing that NASTY (I completely agree) gloppy ubiquitous potato salad (I thought it was only an American thing and am sad to hear it exists on this side of the Atlantic).
One small suggestion: your boiled eggs look absolutely perfect, just how I like them and how I always make them. But I think a lot of people in today’s sad world don’t know how to make them like that. I encounter a lot of overcooked boiled eggs (rubbery whites, grey yolks). Perhaps you could add the boiled egg recipe to your site (in an appendix somewhere? or a footnote?). I love boiled eggs in a potato salad but it’s just not the same when they’re overcooked — the textural contrast of the creamy yolks is not there.
Nadia Stokes says
Thank you Lady P for your kind words. Coincidentally I made another potato salad the other night using creme fraiche and new potatoes (Jersey Royals) this time adding fresh peas, fresh tarragon and chives with crispy lardons scattered on top. My conclusion is that when using potatoes for salad they are their most receptive when they are hot so it’s the best time to add good flavours as they will absorb as much as they can. You know I did think about adding some directions for cooking the eggs but I find it varies so much, eggs at their freshest seem only to have to look at hot water and they are cooked. Also, after much much research (and because we do not have easy access to a farm) we buy Clarence Court Mabel Pearman eggs which have the happiest yolk around!