This impressive-looking Easter Salad of Quails Eggs & Hasselback Potatoes with a saffron dressing is actually very easy to make. The rich, velvety dressing can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The rest is really very straight forward with delicious results.
Saffron and citrus, the sunshine in all the gloom, works perfectly with steamed asparagus and jammy eggs. In addition hasselbacks potatoes, a Swedish classic, named after a Stockholm restaurant, remain a favourite in my house. Without exception I sprinkle the potatoes with breadcrumbs and a little cheese towards the end of cooking for extra flavour and texture. Hasselbacks should, in my opinion be made with waxy potatoes, such as Charlotte. Jersey royals would work well too.
Now that the British asparagus season has begun, it seems fitting to add them to my Easter salad too. An optional extra are the broad beans, I invariably have a bag in my freezer if fresh aren’t available.
This meal would work perfectly as brunch or lunch. Mop up the sauce with good sourdough bread and add a glass of wine or two. Easter never tasted so good!
Easter Salad of Quails Eggs & Hasselback Potatoes with a Saffron Dressing
- 8 charlotte potatoes
- 150 g broad beans I used frozen, blanched & shelled (optional)
- 1 bunch asparagus 12 spears
- 12 quails eggs
- 3 bay leaves optional
- 40 g butter
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs
- 1 x 80g bag pea shoots or young spinach
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons French mustard
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 100 ml sunflower oil preferably rapeseed
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- a good pinch cayenne pepper
- white pepper & fine sea salt
- 50 ml sour cream
- 1 small clove of garlic
- zest and juice half small lemon
- white wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- Begin with crushing the saffron in a very small bowl with the back of a spoon, add a teaspoon of hot water to the bowl. Set to one side.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan.
- Put each potato in the bowl of a wooden spoon and, at roughly 2mm intervals, cut carefully down, but not quite through the potato. Tear the bay leaves, if using, into several pieces and stuff several pieces into each potato.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in the pan or tin you are going to cook the potatoes in over a medium heat until sizzling. Put in the potatoes one by one, and carefully turn them in the butter to coat, then pour in enough cold water to come halfway up the sides of the potatoes.
- Bring to a boil, then roast for an hour and 30 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Scatter with the breadcrumbs and parmesan, for the final 15 minutes of cooking.
- Place the quails eggs in a saucepan of simmering water, cook for 1 minute 45 seconds for soft boiled, remove and place in ice cold water. Peel, then cut in half.
- Tip the egg yolk, vinegar and mustard into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk together until completely combined. Whisking constantly, add a small drop of oil and whisk until completely combined, (I do this with a hand held electric whisk) then add another drop and continue a drop at a time until the yolks and oil combine and start to thicken. Once you’re confident the oil and egg has emulsified you can add the oil a bit more at a time, but be patient, as adding the oil too quickly will cause the mayonnaise to split and curdle. Once all the oil has been added pour in the saffron and sour cream and stir. Add the zest of half a lemon, a splash of the juice and the crushed garlic. Check the seasoning.
To assemble the salad:
- Boil or steam the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Place the pea shoots in a bowl and add a few drops of white wine vinegar and olive oil with a little salt and pepper, toss. Arrange the pea shoots on a serving platter, followed by the broad beans, asparagus, quails eggs and finally the hasselback potatoes. Drizzle with the saffron dressing and serve.