Andrea’s picks for this month’s Cottage Cooking Club recipes all looked tempting, but the new potato, tomato and boiled egg salad got my attention. Now, I am not a huge fan of hard-boiled eggs. In fact, I’m quite picky about chook pellets, as my hubby calls them, especially if they are stinky. Deal’s off! But, since I reach for free-range eggs, I have noticed they do not have that unbearably fishy smell to them, even when boiled.
Living in Southern California has a lot of advantages, besides the obvious, beautiful weather. There is a big community of Middle Easterners here and grocers cater to the culinary needs of the residents.
I confess I get a bit carried away in the produce section, especially if I am shopping on a grumbling tummy, which explains the pound of long beans and three bunches of radishes destined to rot in my fridge. Who needs three bunches of radishes, anyway?
Besides the plentiful produce section with a wide range of fresh herbs, most Armenian and Persian grocers also offer house-made dishes, even fesenjan which is certainly not as good as Mom’s, but still a healthy and delicious heat+serve perfect for a busy work-night.
My intention here is not to campaign for the local markets, as they do so well they really do not need my help in rounding up business. I really just want to tell you that they also offer dips, soups and salads, the most popular of which is likely Olivier. Despite its French name, this salad traces its roots to Russia where the basic potato salad is embellished with both chicken and egg. Perhaps that explains the appeal of Hugh’s salad.
This salad has all the classic flavours that pair so well with gently boiled new potatoes. The egg and the onion are present, but there is a newcomer, the tomato. That is the sort of innovative idea you will find in Hugh’s books. Who would have thought to toss some cherry tomatoes into a potato salad? Get your copy and come cook along with us at Andrea’s.
This salad is lovely for the summer months and serves well as dinner. It draws smooth, chewy, crunchy textures from the various ingredients, the best of which is the surprising burst of flavour you get when you pop a tomato between your teeth. I just hope Hugh does not mind my throwing some crunchy radishes into the mix.