This substantial and healthy boiled egg salad with freshly steamed new potatoes showcases simple ingredients at their best. Tasty, nutritious and packed with fresh vegetables, it is perfect for spring.
Easy Egg & Potato salad
I love a substantial salad that is a complete meal. The simple foods are often by far the best. This one has fresh green leaves, some steamed new or baby potatoes and hard boiled eggs for protein, making it a really healthy egg salad.
I was not quite sure what to call this salad. It has all the ingredients of a Niçoise apart from the tuna and anchovies, which I deliberately left out to let the new season Jersey Royals shine. Is it a veggie Niçoise, or a Niçoiseless? Neither sounds appealing or catchy, so I shall think of it as a British Garden Salad instead. It was the first meal of spring, and we ate it outdoors at my parent’s house, the eggs from a local farm and herbs from the garden.
This is a proper green salad, adaptable and containing a few of your five a day. You can serve it with the potatoes and eggs warm or cold. If you like it cold, you can make it quite a bit ahead of time and then just assemble it.
This seems a long post for something this simple, but attention to detail will pay dividends. The extra effort makes a far better final dish.
Why Make It?
- It is delicious and focuses on the fresh ingredients. Nothing fancy, but greater than the sum of its parts
- You get three of your 5-a-day in one go
- Packed with protein to keep you full
- Endlessly adaptable, serve warm or cold
- Make most of it ahead and just assemble when ready to serve.
Egg and Potato Salad – Ingredients
- Hard boiled eggs – Preferably free range and organic. See my tips for perfect hard boiled eggs below.
- Salad or new potatoes – I love Jersey Royals when they are in season.
- Tomatoes – Unless you grow your own, vine tomatoes are by far the best.
- Fresh salad leaves – I like a mix of baby leaves, with some variety of texture, colour and flavour.
- Green beans – lightly steamed (see the recipe notes for substitutions)
- Herbs – I have used chives, but you could use parsley or some finely chopped spring/salad onions.
New vs Salad potatoes
Jersey, one of the Channel Islands is a bit of a constitutional anomaly, a Crown possession, and certainly British in character (but different at the same time), but neither part of the United Kingdom nor the EU.
Traditionally Jersey Royals are the first potatoes to arrive in the spring. Grown on the southern facing slopes on the island, these kidney-shaped tubers are traditionally fertilised with seaweed. They are the only British vegetable with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
With a delicate sweet, buttery and nutty flavour, and papery thin skin, they are delicious. These spring treats are best enjoyed in simple dishes that allow the taste to shine through. They are perfect in this easy boiled egg salad with fresh leaves and herbs, though you can also roast them.
Steaming makes the most flavoursome potatoes, so I recommend that you cook your new potatoes by this method. You do not need a steam oven. Instead, just pop the potatoes in a sieve over a pan of boiling water with a lid on top of the sieve for about 20–25 mins.
- Salad Dressing – A simple lemon vinaigrette is perfect here. You don’t want to smother the flavours and a light dressing keeps your egg salad healthy.
How to Hard Boil Eggs
Everyone has their preferred way to cook perfect hard boiled eggs.
The easiest way that works for me, and saves some energy too, is this:-
- Start with your eggs at room temperature. Put them into a pan of cold water.
- Bring to the boil over a medium heat.
- Once the water is boiling, cover with a lid and remove from the heat.
- Leave to stand for 12 minutes.
- Drain the water off and run cold water over the eggs until they are cold. This stops that unattractive black layer forming on the eggs.
As the eggs come to the boil, gently move them around in the pan. This will help to centre the yolk in the egg, so that they look perfect when cut.
Once the eggs are cool, I keep them in the shells in the fridge and peel them just before serving. If you keep your fresh eggs in the fridge, mark the hard boiled ones or keep them separate, so you know which is which.
In the UK, many of us keep our eggs at room temperature, though some prefer the fridge. It makes no difference to how long they last. Keeping them at room temperature means they are ready to use.
In the USA, however, a legal protocol demands that eggs are washed before sale. While this ensures that no guano remains on the egg, it also strips the shells of the oil that helps to keep bacteria out of the egg. As a result, American eggs don’t keep as long as British ones, and need to be kept in the fridge.
Wherever you are, if you do keep your eggs in the fridge I recommend taking them out and bringing them up to room temperature before boiling them.
Easy Salad Dressing
Salad dressing is not just for green salads, and we keep a jar in the fridge all the time. I’ve used a lemon mustard combination here, keeping to the classic 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio. The mustard and honey help to emulsify the dressing.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- salt & pepper
Whack it all into a jar and shake it.
How to Make Boiled Egg Salad with New Potatoes
Step one – Grab the ingredients. Wash and dry the salad leaves, and rinse off the tomatoes. Trim the ends off the beans and wash the potatoes.
Step two – Cook and peel the hard boiled eggs (see notes above). Then cut them into quarters.
Step three – Steam the potatoes. (You do not need a steamer, as a sieve over a saucepan will work just as well.)
Step four – While this is all happening, make the dressing. Just plonk all the dressing ingredients in a jar and then shake well to mix.
Step five – Remove the potatoes from the pan and stand over the sink for minute while they steam dry. Plunge the beans into the steaming water and let boil for a minute.
Step six – Drain the hot water off the beans and then plunge into cold water to blanch and stop them cooking. This will retain colour and texture.
Step seven – Gently toss the still-hot potatoes in the dressing.
Step eight – Layer up the salad in a serving bowl and garnish with the freshly cut chives. Drizzle over extra dressing, season with pepper and salt.
Hints, Tips & Variations
- If you prefer to prepare you egg salad in advance, dress the potatoes when they are still warm. Then assemble the salad. Allow the potatoes to cool to room temperature.
- Swap the green beans for runner beans, mangetout, or strips of griddled courgette if you prefer. Or throw them all in for an even healthier egg and potato salad!
- Add in some avocado.
- Add in some olives or capers (rinse if too salty) for a more Provençal twist.
- If you love a Niçoise-style salad, however, scatter your egg salad with snipped up pieces of anchovy. They go so well with egg and potato salad.
- Serve wit a good dollop of home made traditional salad cream!
More Ideas with Eggs
Easy Potato Salad Recipes
- Miso potato salad
- Tahini potato salad
- Cucumber and potato salad
- Healthy potato salad
- Mexican black bean potato salad
Egg and Potato Salad
For the Salad
- 4 eggs
- 120 g baby new potatoes
- salad leaves (1 small bag)
- 100 g green beans
- 50 g cherry tomatoes (or other baby tomatoes)
- fresh chives
For the Salad Dressing.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper
- Gather the ingredients. Wash the salad leaves, potatoes and tomatoes. Cut the ends off the beans. Halve the tomatoes.
- Cook the eggs from room temperature by placing them in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Let stand for 12 minutes. Drain, and run cold water over the eggs.
- Steam the potatoes for about 15 minutes until just soft. If you don't have a steamer, simply cook them in a sieve over a saucepan of boiling water. Cover with a lid.
- Make the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a jam jar. Shake well to mix.
- Drain the potatoes when cooked, and let the steam evaporate off.
- Cook the beans in a saucepan of boiling water for one minute. Once cooked, plunge the beans into a large bowl of cold water.
- Dress the potatoes, tossing them gently so they keep their shape.
- Assemble the salad. Layer salad leaves on the bottom of a salad bowl. Cover with the remaining ingredients. Pour over a little more salad dressing. Garnish with chopped chives.
- Swap the beans for runner beans, mange tout, or strips of griddled courgette
- Add in some avocado just before serving.
- Add an interesting extra such as olives or capers (rinse if too salty). I didn't use anchovies as I had lovely new season potatoes to show off, but you can top with snipped anchovies for salad Niçoise.