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Asparagus, Radish and New Potato Salad

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Introduction

Fleshy green asparagus, as fresh as you can; sweet new season’s baby potatoes; juicy, pepper-hot radishes: this simple but sensational salad is made just by steaming the potatoes, roasting the asparagus, halving the radishes, tossing everything together gently with some tarragon, before dressing them lightly but fragrantly in a herb-thick buttermilk vinaigrette. This is a paean to Springtime in edible form, and I can’t stop making it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Fleshy green asparagus, as fresh as you can; sweet new season’s baby potatoes; juicy, pepper-hot radishes: this simple but sensational salad is made just by steaming the potatoes, roasting the asparagus, halving the radishes, tossing everything together gently with some tarragon, before dressing them lightly but fragrantly in a herb-thick buttermilk vinaigrette. This is a paean to Springtime in edible form, and I can’t stop making it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spring Potato Salad
Photo by Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups

For the salad

  • 1 unwaxed lemon - pared zest of half
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint
  • 450 grams baby new potatoes
  • 450 grams fresh green asparagus
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 150 grams halved radishes (with stalk and tail removed)
  • approx 50 grams pea shoots or other salad leaf

For the dressing

  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon lemon juice (from the pared lemon)
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon chopped fresh mint from the bunch
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes (or a pinch of fine sea salt)
  • a grinding of black pepper (plus more to taste)

For the salad

  • 1 unwaxed lemon - pared zest of half
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint
  • 1 pound baby white potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh green asparagus
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1⅓ cups halved radishes (with stalk and tail removed)
  • 4 loosely packed cups pea shoots or other salad leaf

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from the pared lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint from the bunch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or a pinch of fine sea salt)
  • a grinding of black pepper (plus more to taste)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan.
  2. Steam the potatoes, along with the pared zest from half the lemon and 2 sprigs of mint from the bunch, for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. You can either wait until the potatoes are cooked, and keep them warm, having removed the water from the bottom of the steamer, so that they can sit and dry out in the heat, without a lid on, or proceed directly to the asparagus while they steam.
  4. Cut the asparagus into approximately 5cm lengths discarding the woody ends, and put into a large shallow roasting sheet with the half teaspoon of sea salt flakes and the 3 tablespoons oil. Roast the asparagus for 10 -15 minutes or until tender and just cooked through. If they are skinny, they might need no more than 6-8 minutes.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, discard the mint; I lazily let the lemon peel stay in the salad, though by all means discard if you prefer. And once the asparagus is cooked, remove the tray from the oven, and tumble in the potatoes.
  6. Add the halved radishes and the chopped tarragon, mixing everything together well. Leave to one side to cool down a little while you make the dressing.
  7. In a bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice from the pared lemon, chopped mint and 1 tablespoonful of chives, along with the ¼ teaspoon of sea salt flakes and grind of pepper. Add the dressing to the warm roasting tin and toss well to mix, combining it with the fragrant oil in the tin. Check to see if you want any more salt or pepper.
  8. Arrange the pea shoots on a large plate or shallow bowl, and then add the dressed asparagus, potatoes and radishes.
  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan.
  2. Steam the potatoes, along with the pared zest from half the lemon and 2 sprigs of mint from the bunch, for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. You can either wait until the potatoes are cooked, and keep them warm, having removed the water from the bottom of the steamer, so that they can sit and dry out in the heat, without a lid on, or proceed directly to the asparagus while they steam.
  4. Cut the asparagus into approximately 5cm lengths discarding the woody ends, and put into a large shallow roasting sheet with the half teaspoon of kosher salt and the 3 tablespoons oil. Roast the asparagus for 10 -15 minutes or until tender and just cooked through. If they are skinny, they might need no more than 6-8 minutes.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, discard the mint; I lazily let the lemon peel stay in the salad, though by all means discard if you prefer. And once the asparagus is cooked, remove the tray from the oven, and tumble in the potatoes.
  6. Add the halved radishes and the chopped tarragon, mixing everything together well. Leave to one side to cool down a little while you make the dressing.
  7. In a bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice from the pared lemon, chopped mint and 1 tablespoonful of chives, along with the ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and grind of pepper. Add the dressing to the warm roasting tin and toss well to mix, combining it with the fragrant oil in the tin. Check to see if you want any more salt or pepper.
  8. Arrange the pea shoots on a large plate or shallow bowl, and then add the dressed asparagus, potatoes and radishes.

Additional Information

If you can’t get baby new potatoes, but just regular new potatoes, you may want to halve them.

If you can’t get baby new potatoes, but just regular new potatoes, you may want to halve them.

Tell us what you think

What 6 Others have said

  • Tried this tonight with the addition of chicken & bacon...delicious!

    Posted by BabsLash on 25th April 2020
  • I made this for supper yesterday. I live in France and our supermarket doesn’t have buttermilk or fresh herbs during this lockdown so I substituted it with a little Greek youghurt and used different herbs. It was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making this again. Thank you Nigella.

    Posted by DianaMontignacFrance on 24th April 2020
  • Very tasty salad. It helps to roast the asparagus and steam the potatoes the day before. The buttermilk gives the dressing a gentle tang that just works!

    Posted by ursula.marie on 18th July 2019
  • Love your recipes, Nigella. They are wonderfully versatile and riffable. Used a bit of Greek yogurt thinned for the buttermilk and some thyme and basil since I had them on hand. Have to say, this salad is lovely warm but also quite good cold. Served alongside bacon mushroom frittata for brunch today and will enjoy the rest during the week as part of my lunch.

    Posted by Tommari on 27th May 2019
  • Just made and eaten this, it was lovely - an inspired mixture of flavours. Didn't have buttermilk, used kefir - also shredded lettuce instead of pea shoots.

    Posted by Jiblet on 23rd May 2019
  • Made this yesterday and it was delish! It’s light and it makes you feel you’re eating very healthily. Highly recommended!

    Posted by Nebam01 on 22nd May 2019
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