I have three words for you: Buy. This. Book. Mindy Fox’s new “Salads: Beyond the Bowl” (Kyle Books) is unlike any book you’ve seen before. You will love it. I promise. The salads are creative, fun, good for you and just really really delicious.
So far, I’ve also taken away two lessons from Mindy. 1. Grate lemon zest over your salads. It really brightens them up. 2. Garnish with flaky coarse sea salt. When a flake lands on your tongue, you’re in heaven. On to the recipe.
Potato and Snap Pea Salad with Garlic and Parsley Lemon Pesto
2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (11/2-2 inches in diameter)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, gently smashed and peeled
1/3 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 1/4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
Flakey coarse sea salt
In a large wide pot, cover the potatoes with salted cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a very small saucepan or skillet, combine the oil, garlic and pinch of fine sea salt. Heat gently over very low heat, turning the garlic occasionally, until the oil is fragrant and the garlic is lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
(If your pan is not small enough for the garlic to be submerged in the oil, tilt the pan frequently so that the garlic cooks evenly in the oil.) Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Drain the potatoes, transfer to a wire rack and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces and put in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, finely grate the zes of the lemon over then, then add a generous pinch of both fine sea salt and pepper and gently toss to combine. Set the potatoes aside to cool completely.
Cook the snap peas in a small saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool, then cut each pod crosswise on a diagonal into 2 or 3 pieces.
Juice enough of the lemon to make 2 teaspoons. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, cooled oil mixture, parsley, basil, pine nuts, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Puree until smooth.
Add the pesto and peas to the bowl with the potatoes and gently toss to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of crushed flakey coarse sea salt and pepper. Garnish with a few shavings of cheese.
Serves 4 to 6.