The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Potato salad recipe

potato saladI love a good potato salad. Jersey Royals were half price on Saturday. They were ideal. Unpackaged, mud still clinging to the skins. I got home and decided to have a sniff on the internet for a good recipe. I was looking for something simple yet chic. My mum was coming to lunch and, to be quite honest, I wanted to impress her.

I found a great potato salad recipe on Delia Online involving lemon and olive oil vinaigrette and loads of spring onions. I had bought three quarters of the amount of potatoes but made the full amount of sauce.

While the potatoes were simmering and I was making the vinaigrette, Danny snaked downstairs from the rat room.
“I can smell lemon and garlic and¦” he peered into the saucepan of simmering potatoes, “what’s that green stuff?”

For ten years I have been banned from using mint as Danny doesn’t like it, in boiled potatoes. This evening, with him safely tucked away upstairs, I crept out to the herb border with a torch and plucked a couple of large sprigs. I reckoned that with the whirl and twirl of a visit from my mum he wouldn’t notice the mint.

I forgot that if I cook “out of hours” he is constantly drawn down the stairs to the kitchen. I much prefer to cook in this way, without the constraint of supper time and a pale, pinched face at the door.

The mint was forgotten as he examined the contents of the pestle and mortar and savoured the combination of freshly crushed garlic and lemon. When I had stirred the sauce through the potatoes several times, I moved the dish out of range to a dark corner of the kitchen where he rarely ventures. There was not nearly enough for a midnight snack and lunch tomorrow.

Ten minutes later he crept into the kitchen and found it.
“Would it be OK if I sampled one or two potatoes when they are chilled, just to see what they taste like?”

He didn’t taste them when they had chilled (fell sound asleep) and neither did my mum.

The next morning I got up early to add the spring onions and sprinkled over a quarter teaspoonful of sweet smoked paprika. It worked well. Delia adds grainy mustard and chives. I can see why as they add texture and enhance the appearance. I left both ingrdients out. Having over indulged on the grainy mustard front, we no longer keep it. Danny remembered that his mum had used the complete spring onion in her delicious potato salad. As I have never made a good potato salad, ever, I took the advice and dumped the idea of chives. I chopped the green spring onion ends very fine. I wanted the salad to be subtle and clean looking. The potato salad was very good.

My mum was invited for 12.45. At 13.15, I was getting a bit concerned. At 13.30 I checked our phone messages. There was a message that we had missed, 19.30 the previous evening. She was not feeling well and wouldn’t be joining us for lunch.

In an immaculately (relatively) hoovered and dusted cottage we feasted alone on:
Asparagus Tart (courtesy Writing at the Kitchen Table)
Potato Salad (Deliaonline with changes)
Side salad of gentle leaves ( from the garden – Mainly baby lettuce and watercress)
Elderflower and Lime Jellies (thank you Judy. We fought over the third one).

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Roy

    Happy New Year.

    This collection is a great idea. Time saving and eclectic. However my recipe is copyright material and needs my permission to use it. I imagine a lot of the recipes in your collection are the same. If you are going to publish this sort of collection on your site why not acknowledge the authors and include a trackback to the author’s post – this at least salves the theft.

    Each author took the time and trouble to develop these recipes and are not asking for coffee as payment – you cheeky devil!

  2. Roy Sencio

    The look lovely, I love potatoes as well, and have never tried mint though, but do love smoked paprika.

    If you like more salad ideas, please fee free to swing by and check out my collection.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Chaos tends to reign in the cottage most of the time.

    My mum is OK. At 87 everything is starting to fall apart, which must be scary. She is still driving and does The Times crossword every day.

  4. Amanda

    Our house is only ever immaculate if my in-laws are coming. Once they’ve arrive it takes precisely 5 mins to become chaotic again. This potato salad sounds lovely. Loved the ‘tesco comfort stop’ mention in your orchids post too.
    Hope your mum’s okay.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Richard, I’ve decided that I’m going to use mint in the potatoes when I cook them, from now on. Danny loved these salad potatoes and I think that the mint definitely enhanced them.

    Hi Ash, we eat far too many sandwiches. I’m trying to make slightly healthier snacky food. This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge. Thanks for dropping by.

  6. Richard

    Sounds great – I am also banned from using mint when cooking potatoes – heaven knows why!

    My problem with potato salads like this is that the spring onions always seem to stick to the bottom of the bowl and not to the potatoes…

    Like the idea of smoked paprika in there – it’s one of my favourite ingredients.

  7. Your lunch sounds wonderful. I have been banned from making potato salad because the husband prefers the one from the shop! I might try this recipe. Seeing as I’m not allowed to eat wheat anymore there has to be *something* for me to eat at barbecues while everyone else is tucking into the garlic bread and the hamburger buns …

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