New Potatoes with Quails’ Eggs and Herby Cream Cheese Mayonnaise

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Potatoes are one of my favourite ingredients and I quite often use them in a first course dish. The cream cheese mayonnaise is not a mayonnaise in the true sense of the word because it uses no eggs; the light creaminess combined with fresh basil, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and hazelnut oil is lovely. If quails’ eggs are not available, use small hens’ eggs.

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb) small waxy new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 12 quails’ eggs (or 6 small hens’ eggs, size 5)
  • A few leaves of flat leaf parsley, to garnish

For the mayonnaise

  • handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 14 fresh basil leaves (approximately)
  • 125g (4oz) full-fat soft cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • Salt
  • Chilli powder

Method

Steam or boil the potatoes until they are cooked, then leave on one side. Lower the eggs gently into the boiling water, bring the water back to the boil again and boil for 2½–3 minutes (or 6 minutes for hens’ eggs). Drain and put the eggs in cold water to cool.

To make the mayonnaise, reserve a few perfect leaves of flat leaf parsley for garnishing later and chop the remaining parsley and basil leaves roughly. Put the full-fat soft cheese into a food processor with one tablespoon of the lemon juice and whizz together. Then add the olive and hazelnut oils, a very little of each at a time, whizzing well between each addition. Whizz in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, season to taste with salt and chilli powder and then whizz in the chopped parsley and basil. If you are not eating this dish immediately, refrigerate the mayonnaise until it is needed.

To serve

Shortly before eating, assemble the dish. Peel the eggs and slice both the eggs and potatoes in half lengthways. Arrange the potatoes and eggs together on individual serving plates and spoon some of the herby cream cheese mayonnaise to one side. Garnish the dish with the reserved whole parsley leaves.