Today the blog is devoted to a vegetable so renowned and popular that the Gershwin’s wrote a song for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (“Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off in the film Shall We Dance? ) which includes lyrics about it!
So what is a potato? Well, it is a starchy, tuberous root vegetable which is indigenous to the Andes, where it was first discovered. After maize, wheat and rice, it is the world’s fourth largest crop and one of the most popular and versatile of vegetables.
Potatoes are found growing wild all over the world but particularly in the Americas, from the United States down to the tip of Southern Chile. The plant was quickly domesticated because of its versatility and adaptability and for a long time it was assumed that this was done piecemeal all over the globe. However, recent research has proved that most domesticated varieties originate in a cultivar found in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia, where it was first domesticated 7-10,000 years ago.
Currently, following selective breeding, it is accepted that 99% of the cultivars grown worldwide are descended from varieties grown in Peru. These particular potatoes were sent to us by British Gems to try. They are produced exclusively for Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range and we could immediately tell why they’d been included because believe me you can! British Gems maintain that their potatoes are harvested from their fields and delivered to your local store within 48 hours and they certainly taste that way. The minute I bit into one of these beauties, my first response was to remember the new potatoes I’d dug up from my mother’s vegetable garden as a child and the taste of them when my mother cooked them, floury, buttery, full of flavour. They actually taste like potatoes used too.
We’ve gone a bit brunchy with our recipe today. Boiling then roasting the British Gems with chorizo with asparagus then finishing it off with a soft poached egg and a smattering of Salsa Verdi. Lots of flavour, which the potatoes take on very well. We made lots. They taste even better today chilled !
British Gem Potatoes
1 ring of Chorizo
2 packs of asparagus tips
Extra virgin olive oil
A large pinch of smoked paprika
A large pinch of wild oregano
A handful of mint, parsley, coriander and basil
2 fresh anchovies
1 clove of garlic
A spritz of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of capers
A large glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 large organic egg
A splash of white wine vinegar for poaching eggs.
A pinch of smoked paprika
Pre-heat the oven to 200oc, gas mark 6
Boil a saucepan of water, add the British Gems and cook until softened.
Chop up the chorizo.
Drain the British Gems, add to a baking dish and then add the chorizo and asparagus.
Add the herbs and spices and oil and toss.
Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
To make the salsa Verdi, simply put the herbs, capers, garlic, anchovies, lemon and oil into a food processor and blitz.
Season to taste and place in the fridge until needed.
Boil some water in a shallow pan, add a splash of white wine vinegar
Swirl the water with a spoon then, add the egg. poach for a couple of minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, place a spoon of the mixture on a plate then carefully place the egg on the top.
Slice so that the yolk pours out then dust with smoked paprika and serve.