Pesto Potato Salad
Maybe we just had a bad experience as kids at school dinners, but whenever we hear "potato salad", the immediate image that springs to mind is one of a rather insipid side-dish made from over-boiled, tasteless potatoes drowning in a sickly mayonnaise. We shudder just thinking about it.
Thankfully we now know that it doesn't have to be like this. The addition of a little pesto into a potato salad can turn it from the mundane to the extraordinary. This recipe makes a great side dish for four. Alternatively, you can upgrade it to a substantial main for two by adding some crispy pancetta, tiger prawns or baked tofu.
Digital kitchen scales
Any potato will do, but our absolute favourite is the fingerling variety. This stubby little potato may not be much to look at, but it's unique texture and unmistakably nutty flavour defies its diminutive stature.
Chop the potatoes into equal size chunks. If you're watching your calories, you can simply steam the potatoes over salted water until tender, about 12-14 minutes.
If you're not watching your weight, par-steam the potatoes (around 6-8 minutes), toss in a little oil and finish their cooking in a preheated 180°C oven until fully cooked and crispy on the edges, about another 10 minutes.
Top, tail and halve the green beans and steam until al dente, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Soft-boil your quail eggs by boiling for 2.5 minutes before shocking them in ice-water. Once cold, peel, halve and set aside.
Place your potatoes in a large mixing bowl and coat throughly with the mayonnaise and pesto. This is the base of your salad.
Add the beans, sliced yellow pepper, and cherry tomatoes and toss just once or twice until some are coated but some are still as naked as the day they were harvested.
Plate up and garnish with the quail eggs and cress.