Potato and chard salad with pea pesto recipe

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This bright green salad looks as good and fresh as it tastes. Serve it plain, or scatter with thinly sliced and crispy chorizo. It's ideal for eating with almost any barbecued meat.

Serves 6-8

  • 2lb 3oz small waxy new potatoes (such as 'Pink Fir Apple', 'Belle de Fontenay', 'Nicola', 'Charlotte', 'Ratte' or baby 'Maris Piper')
  • 1lb 1oz Swiss chard or spinach, stemmed and sliced into ribbons
For the pesto
  • 10½oz peas, thawed if frozen or blanched for one minute if fresh
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves, plus a few extra for sprinkling
  • Juice of 1½ lemons, plus grated zest of one
  • 1 tbsp peeled and freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3½ oz chorizo, finely sliced (optional)

Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender (about 15-20 minutes, depending on size). Drain and allow to cool, then peel.

Put the chard or spinach into a large, lidded saucepan and cook over a medium heat (no extra water needed) until wilted. Drain well in a colander or sieve, pushing out any water with the back of a spoon.

Put the peas in a food processor or liquidiser with 5 tbsp olive oil, the basil, juice and zest of one lemon, ginger and garlic and whizz briefly.

Season generously with salt and pepper. Put into the fridge until needed. The flavour of the pea purée improves when slightly chilled.

Fry the chorizo slices (if using) in the remaining tablespoon of oil until well cooked and just beginning to turn crunchy. Drain in a sieve to remove the oil that bleeds out as they fry. Toss them in the remaining lemon juice and put to one side.

Place the potatoes in a large serving bowl, add the pea purée and then the chard or spinach and stir to combine. Top with the chorizo (if using) and sprinkle with some torn-up basil leaves to serve.

When you've had one too many days of eating plain, boiled, new potatoes, this excellent dish comes to the rescue. You get the lovely waxy richness of the potatoes, but with the added oomph of shallots, peppers and cream.

The result is rich and delicious, excellent with roast chicken and good on its own with almost any salad. It's best served warm, but also good cold.

This recipe appears on p176 of Sarah Raven's Food for Family & Friends cookbook.