16 Apr New season’s potatoes with lovage oil – Skye Gyngell, Spring
14 lovage sprigs
180 ml mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil
1 kg Jersey Royals or other small waxy potatoes
1 bunch celery (tender white heart only), finely sliced into long fine shards
150 ml verjuice
1 small radicchio, leaves separated
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
2 tbsp olive oil
1 little squeeze lemon juice
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor or blender place the lovage, add the extra virgin olive oil and a small pinch of salt and blend until really smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Pass the lovage oil through a fine strainer if you would like a clear, verdantly green oil, or leave it unstrained for a little texture.
Put a pan of well salted water on to boil. Scrub the potatoes gently under cool running water to remove any dirt. Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook until just tender (about 20 mins). Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl.
In a shallow pan over a medium heat, place the celery and add the verjuice, olive oil, bay leaves and thyme. Pour in enough water to just cover, season with a little salt and place. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until still just firm to the bite, about 5 mins. Drain and set aside to cool.
Add the radicchio leaves and celery to the potatoes. Spoon the lovage oil over, add a little lemon juice and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.