WanderSups: Why barbecues mean boujee potato salad
“Anyone who is anyone knows one simply must pop a quail’s egg on top of a potato salad to make it sing. . .” This month, resident recipe writer Hannah Gregory shares her go-to for picnics and barbecues: boujee potato salad
Never did I ever think I would be writing a recipe for potato salad but here we are, stranger things have happened I guess.
Let me set the scene. A few weeks back I was invited to a friend’s barbecue. My standard dish for these sorts of gatherings is a boujee potato salad.
It’s been this way for years - I’m not sure exactly how or when the recipe was first birthed, but I do remember it making an appearance at university and I know this because I have a distinct recollection of my housemate telling my I had lost my mind as I trotted down to Partridge’s on the King’s Road to gather quail’s eggs (this was before they had gone mainstream in Waitrose).
I am not sure why I was the one accused of mind-loss when anyone who is anyone knows one simply must pop a quail’s egg on top of a potato salad to make it sing, although I guess this does explain a lot about my astronomical student loan debt.
A decade has passed since university days, but this recipe is still standing steadfast in the armoury. Picnics, barbecues, parties or just for an easy sups, this is my go-to.
I have never really thought about submitting the recipe because let’s face it, it’s potato salad. However, after the fifth guest (it was an intimate affair) at my friend’s aforementioned barbecue begged for the recipe, I thought maybe it was worth writing about. When I went into the kitchen to grab a drink later on in the evening and found a cluster of people gathered around the potato salad container, forks wielding, mayo dripping from their mouths like some kind of possessed, carb-infatuated vultures I thought “OK, I will definitely write it up”.
The next day when I received messages from the host saying all the guests were messaging asking for the recipe and that she had had to send them off with doggy bags of the stuff, I started to wonder if I had laced it with something without realising. . . I have scoured the inner corner of my brain and I’m 99.9% sure this isn’t the case, so I guess it just really is an absolute banger of a potato salad.
Ahead of writing this recipe I did a bit of research into the origins of this salad and from what I can tell, I am not really reinventing the wheel here. I think the key (as always) is the quality of ingredients - Jersey Royals or in-season new potatoes are always going to yield a better flavour, plus fresh herbs and of course the best mayo.
I am not going to preach about the wonders of homemade mayo here: yes, of course the stuff you make from scratch, painstakingly emulsifying and praying to the fat gods not to let it split has a place, but this is not it. This calls for the one and only Hellmann’s, full fat, nothing else.
I have given measurements of ingredients below because as a recipe writer that is sort of what I have to do, but I tend to eye everything in and change it to how my taste is at the time - if you think parsley is the work of the devil, leave it out. If you could bathe in capers, put more in. Do what works for you. It’s your day and it’s your potato salad.
Posh Potato Salad
Serves: Four generously/allows for late-night fridge raids
What you need:
● 1kg potatoes: salad potatoes, new potatoes or Jersey Royals
● 1 red onion very finely diced
● 2 tablespoons capers
● 3 anchovy fillets, the kind you get in a jar - finely diced
● 2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley finely chopped
● 4 tablespoons chives finely chopped
● 4 tablespoons oregano leaves finely chopped
● 1 lemon squeezed
● 4 tablespoons mayo
● 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● Salt and pepper to taste
● 12 quail eggs
● Sprinkling of celery salt
How you do it:
1. Halve/quarter any larger potatoes - you want them all roughly the same size. Put in a saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil.
2. Cook for around 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 3. While the potatoes are cooking, crack on with the ‘dressing’.
4. Add your red onion, capers, herbs and anchovy fillets to a large bowl and stir to combine.
5. Add the mayo, lemon juice and olive oil and stir to combine.
6. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
7. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain and allow to steam dry.
8. Bring a small pot of water to the boil and carefully add the quail eggs, boil for 2-3 minutes (or buy the pre boiled ones - no judgement here).
9. Drain the eggs and put in a bowl of cold water to cool.
10. When the potatoes are cool (not cold, not steaming) add to the dressing and mix everything until well combined.
11. Carefully peel the quail eggs and slice in half.
12. Stir half ot the eggs through the salad.
13. Tip your salad into whatever you plan on serving it in/on and dot the remaining eggs on top.
14. Sprinkle with celery salt and prepare to get hounded for the recipe.
A former BBC MasterChef quarter finalist, Hannah hosts WanderSups supper clubs, “serving meals created with love, inspired by journeys around the world, dished up on home turf”. Her ethos is simple - have fun, enjoy it, make it an occasion. To find out more follow @WanderSups or visit wandersups.com.
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