- 300g Jersey royals, washed, any larger potatoes halved
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 6 quail’s eggs
- 4 thin slices of pancetta or Parma ham
- 10g fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 10g fresh chives or parsley, roughly chopped
When it comes to the garden’s ingredients, there is hardly a more uplifting time of year than spring, and it is the arrival of the asparagus and Jersey Royals that truly heralds the beginning of this season. And due to the ever clever Mother Nature, it is hardly surprising that these two ingredients pair so well together.
This simple salad combines the beautiful waxy texture of Jersey Royals, a punchy garlic mayonnaise dressing, the bite of al dente asparagus and soft creamy quail’s eggs with crispy shards of salty pancetta and of course lots of fresh spring herbs. Prepare ahead and serve in a big platter as part of a spring lunch outside.
METHODDIFFICULTY: Easy 30 MINS
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the Jersey Royals and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until just soft. Strain, run under cold water and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Using your hands, rub the olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt over the asparagus and transfer the spears to the hot griddle. Cook for 4–5 minutes until some lovely char marks begin to appear then turn the spears and continue to cook them until just softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Before preparing the quail’s eggs have a bowl of iced water at the ready. Bring a small pan of water to a gentle simmer and gently add the eggs. Cook for 2½ minutes before removing from the pan and immediately plunging them into the iced water. Allow to cool before peeling and cutting each egg in half lengthways – hopefully revealing a rich, runny yolk.
Place the pancetta or ham on a baking tray then into the oven for 4–8 minutes, until dark and crispy. Break into shards and set aside.
Make your dressing by combining everything in a bowl and mixing thoroughly. Stir half the chopped herbs through the dressing and set aside the remainder.
Toss the cooled potatoes in half of the dressing and arrange in a bowl or platter. Lay the asparagus, quail’s eggs, pancetta and remaining herbs over the top before drizzling over the remaining dressing.