Seasonal local food recipe No 156: A salad of potatoes, mustard and cucumber

A tasty-sounding salad from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol I: “At first rich, then intensely warm and piquant, this is a perfectly balanced salad for accompanying fish or maybe a grilled steak. It is just the job with freshly dressed crab or smoked trout or eel.” The potatoes should be warm when you dress them.

Serves 4

Preparation: half an hour draining the cucumber
Cooking: 20 minutes

half a cucumber
500-750g new potatoes

for the dressing:
a good pinch of caster sugar
1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
generous tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp olive oil
6 lightly crushed juniper berries
2 tbsp chopped dill (or substitute parsley)

Peel the cucumber, halve it down its length and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into chunks about 2cm in width. Sprinkly lightly with salt and leave in a colander in the sink for about half an hour.

Put a pan of water on to boil. Scrub the potatoes. Salt the water, add the potatoes and let them boil for about 15 minutes, until they are tender to the point of a knife. Drain and briefly set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, make the dressing. Put the sugar and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Add some black pepper. Mix in the mustard, then gently whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the juniper berries, the cucumber and the chopped dill and set aside.

Slice the warm potatoes, letting them fall into the dressing, then fold them together gently. Leave for no more than 20 minutes, then serve.

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