» Potatoes

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salad Improvisation

I got home late last night so dinner was a spontaneous improvisation based on what was in the fridge. The result proved to be very tasty! The smooth roasted peppers (you could use sun-dried tomatoes, I think) combine with the crunch of the celery and the boiled potatoes to give a satisfying complexity. A salty miso dressing pulls it all together.

You could serve this with a poached egg, or some grilled meat or fish, or, to be honest, on its own. You could add some feta, as well. I’ve not given precise quantities; that would go against the entire spirit of this dish.

Potato-Pimento Salad with Miso and Herbs

Ingredients
The salad
Potatoes
Celery, sliced
Tinned Spanish pimientos de padrón, sliced, or sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Lots of fresh parsley and/or coriander, coarsely chopped
Toasted pumpkin seeds, or almonds
The dressing
1 part miso paste
2 parts olive oil
1 part lime juice
Lime zest
Freshly-ground pepper

Preparation
Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer very gently until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes cook, combine the other salad ingredients in a bowl and shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar.

Drain the potatoes and leave to dry off a bit for a few minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks and add them to the salad. Toss well and serve with additional black pepper, to taste.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Salad Dressing for Salt Fiends

This is pretty addictive. It delivers a big dose of umami and makes an outstanding dressing for robust vegetables. I’ve been eating it on a salad of finely shredded red or white cabbage, grated carrot, and chopped coriander. It would be good on grilled tofu or fish, or roasted butternut squash. Or use it as a dip for whole potatoes—the little ones we’re getting in our shares—roasted at 200C for 30 minutes.

Miso-Tahini Dressing
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation
Combine the ingredients and blend well, using a fork. Taste to see if it would benefit from a little more vinegar. The mahogany-dark dressing is now ready to use. This makes enough for half a small cabbage, shredded, together with several grated carrots.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: What to do with an Entire Celery. . .

Is that head of celery from a fortnight ago still lurking in the back of your fridge? Here is what to do with it.

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
200g onions
200g potatoes, peeled or not, as you prefer
200g fennel
400g celery
40g butter
1 litre water or stock
150ml Greek or full-fat yoghurt, or single cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Reserved fennel fronds, minced, for garnish
A handful of rocket, dandelion greens or watercress, finely shredded, for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Chop all the vegetables roughly. Reserve any of the soft fronds from the fennel to use as a garnish.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a pan with a lid. Once it has melted add the vegetables and turn to coat in the butter. Put the lid on the pan and leave the vegetables to sweat and soften for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock or water, bring slowly to a simmer, and leave to cook over low heat for another 20-30 minutes.

Liquidise the soup. Stir in the yoghurt or cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Celery is surprisingly salty, so you may not need salt at all.

Serve garnished with the reserved fennel fronds and optional greens.

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: For a Courgette Moment

We have a bonus recipe from Pip Smith, after thinking that last week was going to be her last contribution for now! Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, will be back next week.

Having a courgette moment? Don’t feel like making courgetti? Luckily warm soup is also a great idea in the hot weather – it’s all about keeping on top of your fluids when you are losing so much in the heat. This is a really simple ‘recipe’ and a hit in our household even during the summer months.

Potato and courgette soup

serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 medium courgettes in thick slices
4 medium potatoes
1 white onion
1 organic stock cube
2 tbsp margarine

Method:
Chop the onion and potato into small chunks.
Heat the margarine in a large pan.
Add the potato and onion and sauté for 5-10 mins
Add the courgette for 1 min
Add 800ml stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins.
Whizz with a hand blender

We like to serve ours with a drizzle of single cream.

 

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: Potato and Summer Veg Salad

Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, is having a break during July, and so newly joined member Pip Smith has stepped forward to tantalise our tastebuds in Rebecca’s absence. Here’s this week’s recipe:

Lemony potato and courgette salad with garlic greens

I’ve always been a fan of garlic greens and when I realised you could use the leaves of the Kohlrabi and that they are a good source of b vitamins and carotene it all seemed to come together. In this recipe the courgette is boiled whole then sliced, which is a nice quick way to add it to a warm salad.

Ingredients:

800g potatoes
2 courgettes
The leaves from one Kohlrabi
200g french beans trimmed if you prefer
Salad leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 – 2 unwaxed lemons
3 tablespoons Olive oil (not extra virgin for cooking)
1/2 tsp Black pepper
Salt to taste

Method:

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the washed potatoes and simmer for 8 – 12 mins. Add the washed whole courgettes one minute before the end. Once cooked drain the potatoes and courgettes, and place in a large bowl.

Toss with 2 table spoons of olive oil and the zest of 1 – 2 lemons.

While the potatoes cook, steam the French beans adding the kohlrabi leaves a little later until tender.

Gently heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add two cloves of crushed garlic, heat for about a minute gently fizzing and being careful not to burn the garlic.

Toss the garlic mixture with the steamed veg.

Finally top the potato and courgette with the garlic greens and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cracked black pepper.
Sprinkle with salt to taste.

This recipe was inspired by several recipes in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Veg Everyday’.

 

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Wild Soup

Now that the snow is gone and spring has sprung, you can start foraging.* There are young nettles everywhere, so start picking. Wild garlic is in season as well, and if you can find any it combines magnificently with nettle to make a sumptuous, bright green soup whose vibrant colour alone will lift your spirits. Eat this with bread and some cheese for an easy dinner.

Wild Garlic & Nettle Soup
serves 4.

Ingredients
500g mixed nettles and wild garlic leaves
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
25g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, chopped
salt, to taste
1.5 litres flavourful stock
3 tablespoons milk

Preparation

Wearing gloves, strip the nettle leaves from the stalks. Roughly chop the wild garlic and nettles and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leek, carrot, potato and a good pinch of salt, and stir until everything is well coated. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure that the vegetables don’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. At this point you can turn off the heat and leave the pan until you’re ready to eat.
When you are ready to eat add the nettles and wild garlic in several batches, stirring to blend everything together. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and blend using a stick blender. Add the milk, and then warm over very low heat until it’s a pleasant temperature. Check to see if it needs any more salt.

Serve, drizzled with a little extra oil over the top, if you like.

Recipe adapted from Barney Desmazery, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/wild-garlic-nettle-soup

* Brandon Marsh Nature Centre is offering a foraging course on 27 May, in case you’d like to sign up. They promise wild garlic, among other delicacies. http://www.wildfooduk.com/events/warwickshire-coventry-brandon-marsh-spring-foraging-course-1/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Potato Bread

This is my grandmother’s recipe for potato bread. Anne Griffith, my paternal grandmother, was born on a dairy farm in Wisconsin in 1901. In 1930 she married Clifford Earle, like her a committed Presbyterian. They moved to Chicago, and later to Philadelphia, after my grandfather was ordained. She often made fresh bread. I remember these fluffy, sweet rolls from my childhood.

Anne Earle’s Potato Rolls
I’ll give you this recipe exactly as she wrote it out in her neat handwriting on a small index card.

1 US cup measure is 8 fluid ounces, and 400F is about 200C.

1½ cups water
1 package yeast or 3 tb of yeast
1 c. mashed potatoes
½ c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
2 eggs—beaten
7 to 7½ cups flour.

Dissolve yeast in water. Mash potatoes, while hot add shortening, sugar & salt. Cool. Add 1 to 2 cups flour, stir in, add yeast, beaten eggs. Sir in remaining flour. Knead until smooth and elastic—8 to 10 minutes. Grease bowl, cover with plastic bag. Refrigerate over night. Shape into rolls, let rise 1½ to 2 hrs. Bake 15. 400°.

Dom’s Recipe of the Week: Frittata from the oven

This is a great way to use up odds and ends of fresh veg, and leftovers too. You can use more or less whatever you fancy from the list, though I do think some kind of onion is essential. As the egg is poured straight into the roasting dish full of hot veg, you don’t need to fry this frittata at all, but it helps to have a heavy ceramic or cast-iron dish, which retains the heat well. And the eggs should be at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.

Oven-roasted roots frittata

Ingredients

About 600g mixed winter veg, such as onions, carrots, squash or pumpkin, parsnip, celeriac, beetroot, jerusalem artichokes, black spanish radish, potatoes
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
7 large or 8 medium eggs
A handful of mixed herbs, such as curly parsley, chives and thyme, finely chopped
About 20g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Meanwhile, prepare your chosen veg: peel shallots or onions and quarter or thickly slice; peel carrots and cut into 5mm slices; peel squash or pumpkin, deseed and cut into 2–3cm cubes; peel parsnip, celeriac and beetroot and cut into 1–2cm cubes; cut potatoes into 1–2cm cubes.

Put all the veg into an ovenproof dish, about 23cm square. Add the garlic, oil and plenty of salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veg are all tender and starting to caramelise in places.

Beat the eggs together with the chopped herbs and some more salt and pepper. Take the dish from the oven, pour the egg evenly over the veg and scatter over the grated cheese. Return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the egg is all set and the top is starting to colour. If your oven has a grill, you can use that to accelerate the browning of the top.

Leave to cool slightly, then slide the frittata out on to a plate or board. Serve warm or cold. Perfect lunchbox fare…

Thanks to River Cottage

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Potato Recipes from the 18th Century

To celebrate Canalside’s excellent potato harvest, as well as my fondness for potatoes, here are some potato-recipes from the eighteenth century.

People in eighteenth-century Britain prepared potatoes in many different ways. These are from Richard Briggs, The New Art of Cookery. First published in 1788, it went through multiple editions and was printed in both the UK and the newly-independent USA. Briggs was an experienced chef, who worked for many years at the Globe Tavern, Fleet Street, and the White Hart Tavern, Holborn, as well as London’s fashionable Temple Coffee House.

Boiled Potatoes
‘Wash them very clean, put them into a sauce-pan, nearly cover them with cold water, put in a little salt, cover them close, and boil them very gently, but look at them often; when the skins begin to break try them with a fork, and if they are done strain the water from them, cover them close to steam for a few minutes, then peel them and put them in a dish, with melted butter in a boat.’

Mashed potatoes
‘After they are boiled and peeled, mash them in a mortar, or on a clean board with a broad knife, and put them into a stew-pan; to two pounds of potatoes put in half a pint of milk, a quarter of a pound of butter, a little salt, put them over a fire, and keep them stirring till the butter is melted, but take care they do not burn to the bottom; put them in a small dish, and with a knife shape them in any form you please.’

Fried Potatoes
‘Pare as many raw potatoes as you will want, cut them in slices as big as a crown piece, flour them, and fry them brown and crisp on both sides in fresh butter; put them in a hot dish, and pour melted butter, sack [you could use sherry] and sugar mixed over them or [serve] them with . . . only a little plain butter in a bowl.’

To conclude, here are a few ideas from Theophilus Lobb’s 1767 Primitive Cookery: or the Kitchen Garden Display’d. He writes that ‘to dress potatoes’

‘some people, when they are boil’d have a sauce ready to pour over them, made with butter, salt, and pepper, others use gravy sauce, others ketchup, and some eat them boiled with only pepper and salt; some cut the large ones in slices, and fry them with onions, others stew them with salt, pepper, ale, or water. It is a common way also to boil them first, and then peel them, and lay them in the dripping-pan under roasting meat. Another way very much used in Wales, is to bake them with herrings, mixed with layers of pepper, vinegar, salt, sweet herbs, and water. Also they cut mutton in slices, and lay them in a pan, and on them potatoes and spices, then another layer of all the same with half a pint of water; this they stew, covering all with cloths round the stew-pan, and account it excellent. The Irish have several ways of eating them: the poor sort eat them with salt only after they are boil’d; others with butter and salt, but most with milk and sugar.’

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salmon, Beetroot, Egg and Greens

Warm herb-coated salmon in a winter salad of potatoes, beetroots and sharp greens, with hard-cooked eggs. The fish is cooked in a way that makes it extra-moist.

The recipe has a lot of separate steps but it’s very easy and you can prepare almost everything in advance. The result is delicious and beautiful, so it’s a fine choice if you’re entertaining. The only thing you need to do after your guests arrive is put the fish in the oven 30 minutes before you’d like to eat.

Serve with lots of good bread and a bottle of white wine for a luxurious weekend lunch. When I made it last week we had poached pears for pudding, which rounded things off nicely.

Wild Salmon Salad with Beetroot, Potato, Egg and Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4.

A US cup measure is 8 fluid ounces.

Ingredients
For the Salad
500g beetroots, more or less
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, zest grated first
500g potatoes, more or less
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 extra-large eggs
½ cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons dill, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
1kg salmon fillet in one piece. The recipe calls for wild salmon and if you can find that it is indeed tasty.
200g salad leaves, or more if you like a very leafy salad. Rocket and other sharp-tasting greens are best. In the summer you can use dandelion.

For the Dijon Vinaigrette
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 200C.

For the vinaigrette
Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with the mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste. You might not use it all; the extra can be kept in the fridge for at least a week.

For the beetroot
Toss the beetroot with 2 tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin with a splash of water, cover with foil, and roast until tender then poked with a fork. How long this takes will depend on the size of your beetroot. Small ones will cook in about 30 minutes; very large ones could take over an hour. When they’re done, let them cool, and then peel them, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Season with 1 tablespoon of oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper.

For the potatoes
While the beets are roasting, prepare the potatoes: cut the potatoes into 3cm chunks (approximately), or leave whole if they are tiny. Toss in a roasting tin with one tablespoon oil, the thyme, and some more salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Leave to cool and then mix them with some salt and 2 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

For the eggs
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and carefully lower the eggs into it. Turn the heat to low and simmer for exactly 9 minutes. Remove the eggs and plunge them into cold water to prevent their cooking any further. When they are cool, cut them in half. Season them with a little salt and pepper.

For the salmon
Mix the lemon zest with the shallots, herbs and 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl.
Put the fish skin-side down on an oven-proof rack set over a baking tray or roasting tin. Pat a little of the herb mixture onto the non-skin side of the fish, turn over, and pat the remainder onto the skin side. Season with salt and pepper. You can now leave the fish in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. Just take it out an hour before you’d like to eat, so that it comes to room temperature.
When you are ready to cook the fish: Preheat the oven to 120C and boil a kettle of water. Pour the water into a shallow pan in the bottom of the oven, to create a humid environment in your oven. This will make the fish moist and custard-like. Put the fish, on its rack and tray, into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. It’s done when it starts to separate into flakes. The centre should be slightly translucent. Try not to overcook it.

To assemble the salad
Scatter the salad leaves over a large serving platter and drizzle with ¼ cup of vinaigrette. Nestle the beetroot and potatoes amongst the greens. Arrange the eggs on top. You can do all this in advance, so that all remains to be done is add the warm salmon.
Once the salmon is cooked, use your hands to pull the warm salmon into chunks over the salad. Drizzle with another ¼ cup of vinaigrette, season with a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve. The additional vinaigrette can be served at the table in case anyone wants more.

Recipe adapted from Susanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Luques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table (2005).

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