New Potato Salad from your Garden

by Annette Welsford No Comments

There is something immensely satisfying about picking food from your own garden. But then the challenge is to cook or prepare it in a way that makes it even more special.

baby potatoWhile surprisingly few people grow potatoes in their home vegetable gardens, you will find that this is an easy and gratifying vegetable to grow. Not only that, it is one of the most nutritious foods on this earth. As the Irish discovered in the 18th century, potatoes contain pretty well all the vitamins we need for survival. Furthermore, because it multiplies underground, it is one of the most abundant crops available to the home gardener – or indeed commercial farmers.

Of course you don’t have to wait until potatoes are fully matured to harvest and enjoy them. You can harvest new potatoes as early as six weeks after they have been planted, depending on the variety you have chosen to grow. A particularly good choice is Pink Eye, which is featured our ever-popular How to Grow Great Potatoes book.

Generally you can harvest new potatoes when the flowers have opened fully, which will be anything from six to ten weeks after they have been planted. The tubers will, at this stage, be about the size of an egg. All you do is dig carefully into the mound where the potatoes are growing, and gently pull out a few new potatoes from each plant. Don’t be tempted to remove them all or you will shorten the time you will be able to enjoy your crop.

New Potato Salad Recipe

potato saladGenerally new potatoes are more waxy than mature potatoes, which is ideal for this delicious new potato salad. You will need about 450 g of small new potatoes, scrubbed clean (not peeled). You will also need about 200 g of snow peas or mangetout. If they come in packs that are slightly less than this, don’t fret, it won’t make any difference.

Cook the potatoes in an open pot of boiling salted water and then plunge into cold water to cool. They should be slightly crisp and not at all mushy. Then steam the peas for a couple of minutes (just put them in a sieve over boiling water and cover) and then slice diagonally into strips that are about 5 mm wide. Quarter the potatoes and mix with the mangetout in a bowl.

Now comes the piѐce de résistance, a homemade raspberry vinegar mayonnaise. If you can’t lay your hands on raspberry vinegar, you can use strawberry vinegar instead; it tastes just as good. For the mayonnaise you will need 15 ml (a tablespoon) of the vinegar, 5 ml (a teaspoon) of thin soy sauce, and 45 ml (three tablespoons) of homemade mayonnaise made in a blender or food processor. For this you will need one egg – which goes into the blender first; then 5 ml of dry mustard powder (English is good) and a little salt and pepper. Turn the machine on and slowly pour 300 ml of sunflower oil into the egg mixture. Thin with about 15 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You’ll have more than you need, but it will last in a closed jar for about a week.

Toss the potatoes and peas in the raspberry vinegar mayonnaise, and if you like, garnish with sprigs of watercress. Serve with anything at all.

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