“Spring has sprung the grass is rid, I wonder where the flowers is*”
Don’t ask me where that originated, but apparently it’s high internet debate as well as how the rest of it goes. It’s always amused me:
a) that this rhyme is so grammatically painful yet so popular and
b) how some people are some adamant about getting their opinion smattered across social media platforms like it’s a relay check point.
On a more relevant note, it is riz, (cut a few times by this point too) and things are growing! One of my favourite things of all time is aimlessly wander, tasting vegetables at farmer’s markets, only to go him and successfully honour them. Then gobble their culinary debuts up. So it goes.
I missed out on my fiddlehead scavenge (blink once and it’s over, i swear!) but have made up for it with other green delights. Asparagus, chives, spring onions, rhubarb and soon peas!
This recipe is a showcase of the cusp of summer epicure staples: potato salad. I love how they can transition so well into each season based on vegetables, the occasion and meal. I prefer a mustardy vinaigrette versus its thick mayo-based counterpart, so it was only natural to christen the season with one.
*Since this verse makes little to no sense as it is, I definitely have no idea the tense or punctuation needed.
Spring Potato Salad
2 pounds small new or fingerling potatoes (I used a mix of reds and yukon golds)
1 pound asparagus
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, green beans or other spring pea
1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with one inch of water.
2. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife easily pierces through a potato.
3. Drain the potatoes and let them cool until they’re almost room temperature. You can hasten this by covering them with cold water, and replacing the water a few times as it warms up.
Pickled Spring Onions
3 spring onions (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt (I use Diamond brand; use less if you’re using Morton or table salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1. Meanwhile, pickle your spring onions.
2. Whisk vinegar, water, salt and sugar together in the bottom of a small container with a lid until the salt and sugar dissolve. Slice the bulbs and paler green parts into very thin coins and submerge them in the vinegar mixture.
3. Cover and put in fridge until you’re ready to use them; if you can put them aside for an hour or even overnight, even better.
4. Reserve the onion greens.
Sharp Mustard Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Refill the saucepan you used for the potatoes (here’s to fewer dishes!) with salted water and bring it to a boil.
2. Prepare an ice bath, a large bowl with ice and water in it.
3. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus. One minute later, add the sugar snap peas.
4. Two minutes later, drain both together then dump them in the ice bath until chilled. Drain the vegetables and spread them out on towel to absorb excess water.
5. Slice the cooked asparagus spears and sugar snaps into 1/2-inch segments and place them in a large bowl.
6. Chop potatoes into moderate-sized chunks and add them to the bowl.
7. Cut some of the reserved onion greens into thin slivers (no need to use all of them, as the onion flavor might take over) and add them to the bowl.
1. When you’re ready to serve the salad, or an hour or two in advance, whisk the dressing ingredients and toss it with the vegetables, to taste. (You may find you don’t want to use all of it.)
2. Stir in as many pickled onion coins as you please, save the rest for anything and everything.
3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, o taste. Eat and enjoy!
Pickles and vinaigrette can be started in the day or days before.
Potatoes can be boiled and chilled in fridge overnight, as can other vegetables.