13 May pea and mint potato salad
What is actually going on with the weather? We have been flip-flopping from spring back to winter, intertwined with snippets of summer sunshine. I know it’s pointless to harp on about the weather but it does making planning meals ahead a little tricky. Will a salad be suitable tomorrow? Or will I be hankering for a ham hock soup or a warming stew?
This week, I’m being optimistic with my recipe and sharing my love for the classic combo of mint and peas. Now is the time to get peas in their pods from your local farmer’s market, or well-stocked grocery store. They are fun to remove from their casings, and only need two minutes in a bit of hot water. Unlike most other vegetables, peas freeze remarkably well. The only vegetables that live in my freezer are peas, and I don’t mean that in a smug way, it’s just a fact. It may be more economical and handy for you to use frozen peas in the recipe below, but it is extra lovely to get fresh peas from their pods. You could look out for pea shoots, as these beautiful tendrils make a stunning (and tasty) accessory to any special salad. The McNally Family Farm in Dublin, who sell their greens every Saturday in Temple Bar Food Market in Meeting House Square (mcnallyfamilyfarm.com), are a great source of pea shoots at this time of year.
And let’s not forget the spuds in this salad, and the new potatoes that are ripe for the eating at this time of year. Taking the time to peel the potatoes for this salad is time well spent. This salad is a meal in itself but also makes a gorgeous accompaniment to a roast lamb or chicken, if you leave out the hot smoked salmon.
Pea and Mint Potato Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
800g new potatoes
200g frozen or fresh peas
100g of sugar snap peas
3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Handful of fresh mint
Handful of fresh dill
100g of hot smoked salmon
Zest of half a lemon
- In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes in water until tender. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and cool before peeling the potatoes and cutting them in half. Place them in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make a dressing by mixing the rapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour over the potatoes and mix well.
- If you’re using fresh peas, remove them from their plump pods. Boil the peas and sugar snap peas for 3 minutes, before draining and placing immediately into ice cold water, so they retain their crunch and colour. Drain and dry before using.
- Arrange the potatoes and peas on a platter. Tear the fresh mint and the fresh dill into rough pieces. Scatter over the platter. Use your hands to break up the hot smoked salmon and add to the platter.
- Finish with a zest of lemon, an extra drizzle of rapeseed oil and an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Storecupboard Essential: Dill
Dill is fast becoming my favourite herb. True, it can be over-powering but if used with just the right amount of restraint, it adds an aromatic aroma to fish dishes and makes itself right at home in a decent potato salad.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on Thursday 12th May