Potato Salad with Rocket, Shallots and an Anchovy Cream Dressing

During my childhood the idea of a potato salad used to make my heart sink. Now it makes it leap. The first potato salads I had were at school: small white cubes of wet potato coated in sour-tasting salad cream. It was not until years later that I realized a good potato salad can be an infinitely variable gastronomic thrill. Here is an example that is also practical and portable for taking on picnics.

Ingredients

  • 50 g/2 oz tin anchovy fillets
  • 2 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 4-6 shallots (depending on size)
  • 2 good handfuls rocket leaves
  • 450 g/1 lb Pink Fir apple potatoes or other small waxy potatoes
  • tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • black pepper

Method

Empty the anchovies and their oil into a bowl set over a pan of water that has just boiled and been taken off the heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the crushed garlic and stir for a few minutes until the anchovies turn into a smooth cream. Leave on one side.

Peel the shallots and slice across as thinly as possible in rounds. Chop the rocket leaves roughly, or leave whole if small. Wash the potatoes but do not peel. Cut into slices 5mm/¼in thick and steam or boil until tender. Drain and turn into a bowl with the shallots and rocket-the rocket should wilt on contact with the hot potatoes. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and the vinegar into the anchovy cream and season with coarsely ground black pepper — no salt should be needed because of the anchovies. Pour this dressing over the potatoes and turn all the ingredients around gently with a large wooden spoon to coat them. Then leave until cold and transfer to another serving dish if you like.

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