I’ve been spending lockdown with my parents, who eat a lot of potatoes. They have them once a day it seems, so I’ve been baking them, boiling them, making wedges, salads, rostis and fries … Few things can top the year’s first boiled, buttered and lightly minted jersey royals – so small and so sweet – but now that the season is more established, I’m free to experiment. Here are two new ways to please the potato enthusiasts among you – my parents included.
Warm new potato salad with white miso (pictured above)
Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
1kg new potatoes
200g radishes, washed and sliced
A few spring onions or a bunch of chives, finely chopped
4 tbsp mayonnaise, vegan or otherwise
2 tsp white miso
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
After I made this salad, leftover miso mayo made its way into sandwiches and salads for the rest of the week. Be sure to crush the potatoes a little and dress them in some of the dressing while they are still warm, so they soak up more flavour.
Swaps: Any potatoes will work here; if they are bigger, cut them up before cooking. Green beans, peas and broad beans would all work in place of asparagus. Radishes add a nice pepperiness, but if you don’t have them just leave them out. White miso works – it is milder and sweeter – but if you only have a darker one, just add less.
Scrub the potatoes and put them into a large saucepan, cover with boiling water, season generously with salt and boil for 10-20 minutes. Their cooking time will depend on their size.
Meanwhile, snap the very woody ends from the bottom of the asparagus (about one to two centimetres – these offcuts can be kept in the freezer or fridge for a veg stock). Cut the stems into 2cm pieces and leave the tips whole.
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the miso and citrus juice. Taste and adjust with more citrus or miso as needed.
Once the potatoes are tender to the tip of a knife, add the asparagus and cook for two minutes, then drain and allow to steam dry in a colander.
When they are cool enough to handle, put the potatoes into a serving bowl and crush them a little with the heel of your hand or a spoon. Add a tablespoon of the miso mayo and mix well. When the potatoes are almost cool, add the asparagus, radishes, spring onions or chives and the rest of the miso mayo. Toss to coat and serve.
Brown butter roast new potatoes
These have quickly become my desert island potato. And, coming from a potato enthusiast of Irish heritage, that says a lot.
Swaps: Use any potatoes you have and cut bigger ones up before boiling. Other root veg like parsnips, swede, celeriac, turnips would work well here, too. If you are vegan, use a good olive oil in place of the butter and skip the browning stage – still delicious, and you could add a toasty note with some smoked salt.
Prep 10 min
Cook 55 min
Serves 4-6, as a side
1kg new potatoes, scrubbed clean
4 bay leaves, or a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
100g salted butter
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and herbs, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10–20 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes, until they are just cooked. Drain, put the herbs to one side, and leave the potatoes to steam dry in a colander.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the potato pan back on the hob and add the salted butter. Cook over a medium heat until it turns a nutty brown colour and smells toasty.
Take the pan off the heat, put the potatoes and herbs back in, and shake to coat. Tip everything into a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 30–35 minutes, turning and basting in the butter halfway, until golden and crisp.