To learn more, read "Spring Fling" in our National edition. See the rest of the recipes in this story: Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Pounded Herbs and Green Garlic; Baby Artichokes with Toasted Hazelnuts and Green Olives; Gem Lettuce with Crème Fraîche, Breakfast Radishes and Toasted Breadcrumbs and Almond Cake with Macerated Strawberries and Cardamom Cream.
Crispy Potatoes with Saffron Aioli
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Pinch of saffron threads, finely ground
1 teaspoon warm water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced in half diagonally
2 tablespoons, plus 1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon piment d'Espelette
1. Make the aioli: In a small bowl, combine the saffron and the warm water and let stand 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, using a large whisk, beat the egg yolk. Very gradually whisk in the oil, drop by drop, whisking constantly, until the mixture is well emulsified. Continue adding the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick. Whisk in the saffron mixture, lemon juice, garlic and salt and set aside. Note: The aioli can be made the day before. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature just before serving.
2. Make the potatoes: In a large pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them by half an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the water and let cool on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
3. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until they are golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes.
4. Transfer the fried potatoes to a bowl and season with the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and piment d'Espelette. Serve immediately, accompanied by the saffron aioli.