Potato salad with sugar snap peas, almonds and fresh oregano

This week I signed up for a local egg delivery service. Free range eggs, delivered straight from the local chicken to my door. When not raising your own chickens, you can’t get any more fresh than that! Since I use loads of eggs in my cooking, I was quite enthusiastic about the arrangement that would be good for animal, environment and the persons arranging the deal.

What makes the purchase of ingredients complicated sometimes, is the fact that there are so many things to take into account. Animal welfare if using dairy and eggs, the environmental impact of transport and production of vegetable ingredients, social aspects of fair trade farming when it comes to the purchase of your bananas or chocolate… So I cook following the seasons as much as I can – which is the most fun anyway, so we all benefit here! -, using organic ingredients, while nibbling on slave-free chocolate. But somehow it hardly ever seems possible to meet all demands in a single product, which means having to make choices based on the aspects which matter most to me personally. Receiving my first batch of eggs, I noticed they were free range, but not organic. As a former vet I’d choose animal welfare, organic feeding and regulated use of antibiotics over local provenance any time. So… back to my organic supermarket eggs? I think I’ll have a talk with the delivery guy next time he visits.

Nonetheless, here I am with these super fresh eggs! Time for poached eggs, I think. As it happens, the key to perfectly poached eggs is the use of really fresh eggs, because their white is still firm and clings to the yolk much better than in older ones. No better way of making the most of them and even better if I can use them to top this gorgeous salad I made. The salad is a mixture of lamb’s lettuce, toasted almonds, boiled skin-on new potatoes, sundried tomatoes and herby stir-fried sugar snap peas, combined with a lovely mustard and lemon vinaigrette. I photographed the plate with one decorative spoon and after capture my girls couldn’t resist just using their fingers to dip the contents of the plate in the dressing and eating it on the spot. I dare say everything on that plate is as nutritious as it is flavoursome, so that left me very cheerful. The salad is a complete meal without the eggs, so if you want to turn it into a vegan dish, I’d suggest just omitting the eggs. With or without them, I hope you’ll enjoy this dish as much as we did!

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Potato salad with sugar snap peas, almonds and fresh oregano – serves 4

Ingredients

  • 800 g new potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 sprigs of oregano
  • 100 g skin-on almonds
  • 400 g sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. agave syrup or clear honey
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • 4 very fresh eggs
  • 150 g lamb’s lettuce
  • 150 g semi-dried tomatoes

 

Preparation

Bring water to the boil in a large cooking pan for the potatoes and in a smaller one for the eggs. When the water is boiling, tip the potatoes in the large pan and cook them for 10 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Finely grate the zest off the lemon, then squeeze it. Finely chop the oregano.

Heat a dry wok and toast the almonds until lightly browned. Tip out of the pan and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the sugar snap peas and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest. Stir-fry the peas until just tender. Just before they are done, turn down the heat a little and stir through the oregano. Take out of the pan and set aside.

For the dressing, mix the olive oil with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the honey and the mustard. Stir through the remaining lemon zest and season with pepper and salt.

Now poach the eggs. Turn down the heat under the smaller pan to keep the water steadily simmering, but not bubbling. Add a small dash of white wine vinegar and stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool. Crack one egg into a small bowl, then pour it into the whirlpool. Leave it to cook undisturbed until the white has just set, but the yolk is still runny. This will take about three minutes. Take out the egg with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining eggs.

Divide the lamb’s lettuce over four plates. Halve the potatoes and divide them over the salad, together with the peas, almonds and sundried tomatoes. Sprinkle over the dressing and top with a poached egg.

Serve the salad lukewarm, sprinkled with black pepper.

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