I’ve started harvesting the new potatoes, and I had all sorts of recipes in mind for them. But then, with them actually out of the ground and lightly scrubbed (they come out from under the mulch almost clean), I couldn’t think of anything better than just to boil them and eat them as they are.
Sometimes I think you can overelaborate cooking. Famous chefs say that the secret is beautiful fresh local in season ingredients, minimally treated to bring out rather than mask their inherent goodness. When I was a kid, dinner was meat and three veg, and one of the three was always potatoes. In season, out of season, new and old, always with the skin off, usually mashed but occasionally baked or chips. It wasn’t till I started gardening as an adult that I realised how stunningly different fresh, new season potatoes are – good enough to be the main feature, not the support act, and so good it seems a pity to mess around too much with them.
It spoils you for long stored spuds. They don’t taste good enough to be worth the carbs, and the post harvest treatment used to stop them sprouting worries me. Freezing and then deep frying potatoes (as in commercial chips) is a perfect way to create a nasty compound called acrylamide. Removing the skin removes a lot of the vitamins, minerals and fibre that make spuds good for you.
I won’t tell you how to boil potatoes. The trick to this is the sauce. You can serve them just with a little butter and parsley, but this sauce stops just short of going too far.
Parsley and Mustard Hollandaise
Melt a 2 dessertspoons of butter in a small pot. Take care not to brown it.
Use a blender, stick blender or a whisk to blend together
- 1 large egg,
- two dessertspoons of lemon juice,
- half to one teaspoon of mustard (depending how hot the mustard is)
- pinch of salt
With the blender going, pour the hot butter very slowly into the egg and lemon mix. It should go thick and creamy. Add a good handful of parsley and blend for just a few seconds, just to chop in the parsley. If it isn’t thick enough, pour back into the small pot and heat, stirring, for just a few seconds. It will turn almost instantly.
Split and lightly crush the potatoes and put a dollop of hollandaise in each. It goes well with other vegetables too – in this case some new beans and squash.
Did you have a Tuesday Night Vego Challenge recipe? Feel free to share links in the comments.