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Roots Recipe: Organic Alouette Potato

Top tips from Meg’s kitchen at Roots

Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes. September and October sees the new harvest of potatoes that we will be storing and selling throughout the winter months, a staple food for many. If you are prepared to put a little effort into washing away the soil they have grown in, buying them in 5, 10 or 25 kg bags, kept cool, they will last and offer value like no other vegetable. At Roots we sell well known varieties from excellent growers, Marfona and Wilja have been our backstop for many years, but we also offer organic varieties and this year Alouette is headlining the potato act.

A perfectly pink, smooth skinned potato with fabulous fluffy texture and fresh potato flavour, Alouette is my favourite this season. Potatoes have many qualities, some cooking methods more suitable than others. Mashing, boiling, roasting – Alouette is a roaster, but a plea to leave its ‘jacket’ on; flavour, texture and nutrition all improved with this simple, time-saving (!) step.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Gently scrub the potatoes to reveal their smooth, glossy pink skins and drop them into a pan of cold water. Pour two tablespoons of cooking oil into a sturdy roasting tray. Warm this through in the oven.
Add a pinch of salt to the potatoes in the water and bring the pan to the boil simmering for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are part cooked, starting to become tender to a piercing skewer. Drain the potatoes into a colander and hold them in the colander over the hot pan for the steam to escape and the potatoes to dry momentarily while the oil is warming.

Then taking care with the hot oil splashing up as you tip the potatoes into the roasting pan, toss them around, you will find the skins will break up slightly which is good as it makes for a crispy finish. Now carefully make slicing marks over the back of the potatoes as they sit in the roasting pan, sprinkle with sea salt flakes (at this stage you could add any other spices you wish such as smoky paprika, aromatic sumac or freshly picked rosemary).

Place the tray in the top of the hot oven and roast for 40-50 minutes until the skins are brown and crispy. Serve straight from the oven as the main event or a side dish. They are delicious with a dollop of sour cream, some freshly snipped chives, crispy salad and cold meats or as the accompaniment to a Sunday roast. Either way, pretty in pink, fluffy and tasty, organic Alouette potatoes are an excellent choice.

Kindly provided by Meg of Roots Family Farm Shop at Rushwick on the Bransford Road - 01905 421104