Potato & Coriander Pesto Salad with Pickled Quail Eggs


Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers. The hobbits are struggling. Gollum is too – mind slipping, taunting, testing. They set up camp for the night. Or has dawn broken? It’s been a long, draining journey. And just like that, in the midst of the climbing, the agonizing, the nightmares of golden rings and crushing responsibility and the hairy feet, a moment as pure and lucid as a lavender soap bubble. Etched in my memory. The conversation turns to potatoes.

Sam: What we need is a few good taters.
Gollum: What’s taters, precious? What’s taters, eh?
Sam: *Po-tay-toes!* Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew… Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.
[Gollum makes a noise of disgust while sticking his tongue out]
Sam: Even you couldn’t say no to that.
Gollum: Oh yes we could. Spoilin’ nice fish. Give it to us raw and w-r-r-riggling; you keep nasty chips.
Sam: You’re hopeless.

If you must refresh your memory (how can you not remember?), here’s the scene, above.

My very favourite line in the trilogy: *Po-tay-toes!* Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew.

Speaking of which, lord knows I love potatoes. My favourite vegetable, hands down. But don’t worry, I don’t over do it. Promise.

*With sincere apologies to all J.R.R Tolkien die-hard fans*

The potatoes in this dish, are steamed (or boiled) and dressed in a coriander and pistachio pesto that will blow many a standard tater salad dressing out the water and far away. The dressing is enhanced with the bite of spring onions and the freshness of lemon – both juice and zest. Feel free to use almond or walnuts for the pesto if you don’t have pistachios. Pickled quail eggs make a humble potato salad something you want to serve guests at lunch or at a weekend brunch.

The beauty of this dish is that there are few ingredients needed, many live in your fridge and it’s assembled in minutes.


Serves 3-4

600 g potatoes, peeled chopped and steamed till soft but holding shape (Baby potatoes would be perfect)

35 g pistachio nuts

15 g coriander, including stems

3 spring onions, chopped roughly

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

salt, to taste

8 -10 pickled quails eggs, sliced in half

1 spring onion, snipped

with pickled quail eggs & lemon zest


Allow steamed potatoes to cool.

In the meanwhile, bash pistachios lightly in pestle and mortar till broken but not powdered.

In a small bowl, blend coriander, pistachios, the 3 spring onions, lemon juice, salt and olive oil using a stick blender, till smooth.

You may also do this in the pestle and mortar, grinding till it forms a fine paste.

Spoon the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat.

Mix quail eggs and lemon zest gently though the potatoes and serve with snipped spring onion.

bowls by Wonky Ware

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