Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring Onion Potato Salad

Spring Onion Potato Salad

Spring Onion Potato Salad

What started out as an innocent mention by my friends, Jen, Scott and Evie Lynch, at La Fortuna Pizza, has become an obsession: spring onion puree.They were demonstrating a delicious and simple grilled flatbread (not a true pizza)--perfect for us mortals who lack 900-degree pizza ovens (recipe forthcoming in August Madison Magazine). They casually topped one flatbread with pesto, grilled tomatoes and cheese, and the other with a spring onion puree, grilled asparagus and shaved parmesan.

I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the toppings, and the variety of flavors they combined.  I took a bite of the asparagus-onion flatbread and tasted the sweetness of the onions combined with the salty-sharp cheese and the crunchy, roasted asparagus stalks.

Wait. What is that? Total mouth bliss. Oh, just a puree of sauteed spring onions--really any tender Allium you have around. The flavor is sublime. It is sweet, pungent, and deep. The biting onion and garlic notes are buried during cooking, and a sweetness is unearthed. It needs a bright note, Scott casually mentioned. Really? It is perfection. I am amazed, inspired and excited that such benign ingredients simply sauteed can taste so full. Oh, wait is that umami? 

Spring Onion Puree
 Ahh, my English term--mouth bliss. I went home and immediately made some, picking wild ramp leaves, chives, green onion tops from my yard. I sauteed them in a bit of olive oil, blended them with a pinch of salt and more oil, and then  though: A bright note? If you say so, Scott. What about Oxalis, or wood sorel (remember that citric clover-like leaf you used to nibble as a kid?)? I grabbed a small handful (weeding the garden never felt so productive) and threw it in.

To. Die. For. I kid you not. I have it on eggs, on pasta, in soup, but my favorite way, aside from topping a flatbread, is in a potato salad. Fair warning friends, I will go on and on about this amazing spring onion puree. Or you could make some and then we can go on about it together. I urge you to try this puree before the impending summer gets the best of our spring. Enough said.
Spring Onion Potato Salad:
about 8 small new potatoes, washed, cubed with skin on
olive oil
2 heaping tbsp spring onion puree (see below)
½ cup sauteed fresh garden greens (1-1.5 cup fresh), drained
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Cube and roast potatoes with skin on in foil with oil and salt to taste about 40 minutes, 20 each side until skin is browned in some spots and potatoes are tender.
Dump them on a bowl.
Add the sauteed, drained greens.
Add puree, a touch more salt if needed and fresh chives.
Eat. Bliss.
Onion Puree:
large handful of green onion-ey type things. (I used wild ramp leaves, chives and green onions)
olive oil
2 small bunches ( a small loose handful) wood sorel
Chop and sautee onions in oil for about 4 min, stirring often. Do not let them burn!
Dump in food processor and add more oil and pulse to make a spread like pesto. Add a pinch of salt to taste and fresh sorel. Pulse again until coarsely pureed.


Lyndsey said...

Oh this sounds good! I never would of thought to make it. I add fresh chives to potatoes and eggs already...this will really kick it up a knotch!

Lyndsey said...

This green onion "pesto" sounds really good. I like to add fresh chives already to potatoes and eggs. I am glad you thought of this, now I know how to put those green onions to good use.

Marina@Picnic at Marina said...

I love potato salads, this one looks delicious!

Otehlia said...

Thanks, it really is such a great way to celebrate spring!

Fresh Local and Best said...

The onion puree sounds versatile, combined with potatoes it sounds superb.