Little New Potatoes with Lovage Mayonnaise
Loveage is a perennial herb with a distinct celery flavor, look out for it in the garden centers when they open it’s a really good thing to have in your garden. We use it in lots of different ways but its particularly delicious added to potato soup or as a flavouring for mayo.
Serves 4-8 depending on whether to be served as a snack, canapé or starter
20 freshly dug tiny new potatoes or larger ones, halved
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Makes 300ml (1⁄2 pint)
2 organic egg yolks
pinch of English mustard or 1⁄4 teaspoon French mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
225ml (8fl oz) oil (sunflower or olive oil or a mixture) – we use 175ml (6fl oz) sunflower oil and 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
1 dessertspoon chopped lovage
Flaky sea salt
First make the lovage mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the mustard, salt and white wine vinegar. Put the oil into a measure. Take a whisk in one hand and the oil in the other and drip the oil onto the egg yolks, drop by drop, whisking at the same time. Within a minute you will notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken. When this happens you can add the oil a little faster, but don’t get too cheeky or it will suddenly curdle because the egg yolks can only absorb the oil at a certain rate. Taste and add a little more seasoning and vinegar if necessary. Stir in the finely chopped lovage, taste and add more if necessary.
If the mayonnaise curdles, it will suddenly become quite thin, and if left sitting the oil will start to float to the top of the sauce. If this happens you can quite easily rectify the situation by putting another egg yolk or 1–2 tablespoons of boiling water into a clean bowl and whisking in the curdled mayonnaise, a half-teaspoon at a time until it emulsifies again.
Next scrub the potatoes well. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes depending on size. Drain.
Serve warm with a little dollop of mayonnaise on top of each or of each half. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.