Warm salad of royal kidney potatoes with crisp pancetta, soft poached duck egg and avocado


First published in 2015
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Potato Salad

Place the potatoes in a pan of well-salted water. Bring to a simmer then continue cooking for five minutes so the potatoes are just yielding to pressure when squeezed but remain firm
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the potatoes to cool in the water. Once cold, drain and slice them into wedges then set aside for now
To poach the eggs, fill a large pan with at least five inches of water. Add a dash of malt vinegar then bring to the boil
  • 1 tbsp of malt vinegar
Meanwhile, break each of the eggs into its own ramekin. When the water is simmering, swirl with a slotted spoon to create a whirlpool effect in the centre of the water
Now, one at a time, hold each ramekin close to the water and swiftly, but gently drop the egg into the simmering water. Stir the water in a clockwise direction as soon as the white starts to set and repeat for the other eggs
Ensure the water temperature is not too hot. The surface should be almost trembling, but bubbles should not break the surface of the water
Allow to cook for three minutes then, with a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out quickly but delicately into a container of iced water. You can do this a couple of hours in advance of serving. Discard the vinegar water
For the pancetta, heat a wide frying pan and wipe some oil around it with kitchen paper
When the pan is hot, place a couple of slices of pancetta flat in the pan, cooking until golden brown. Remove and place on absorbent kitchen towel. Set aside to cool and crisp up
Heat a wide frying pan and also bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add a film of olive oil to the frying pan and fry the potato wedges until golden brown
  • oil
Slice the avocado in half lengthways and remove the stone. Peel the skin then slice the avocado into pieces about a half-cm thick. Place these in a mixing bowl
Add the oil, tarragon and vinegar, seasoning with salt and pepper, then toss gently. By now the potatoes will be done. Add the chopped dill then remove the potatoes from the frying pan and arrange in the middle of a serving plate
  • 1 tbsp of tarragon
  • 1 tbsp of dill
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 dash of sherry vinegar
Scatter with the avocado. Return the poached eggs to the simmering water, then lift out of the water after two minutes, dab dry on a towel and place in the middle of the potato mixture
Lay the strips of pancetta round or lean them up against the egg. Serve at once
First published in 2015
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