In the kitchen
Potatoes like to be kept dirty and in the dark. Leave them in their paper bag and store somewhere cool; they keep for several weeks.
Prep & Cooking tips
Put potatoes in a sink full of water and leave for a few minutes to let the mud loosen and settle on the bottom. Then either scrub or peel, depending on how you’re going to use them.
Waxy varieties are best boiled, used in salads or sliced for gratins. Floury potato varieties are spot on for mash, chips, roasting and baking. Potatoes are wonderful at soaking up surrounding flavour. If boiling, season the water with salt and consider adding a few aromatics such as bay, garlic and thyme to the water too. You’ll be amazed how much flavour they take on.
Video: How to Cook Potatoes
1. Season at the start
Don’t underestimate how well potatoes soak up flavour and seasoning from their surroundings. If boiling them for mash or the early stages of a roasty, make sure you season the water with salt. Aromatics such as garlic, bay and thyme will have a noticeable impact on the final flavour, too. Likewise, if baking them sliced in a gratin dish, make sure the cream or stock you use is seasoned well before you add it. Even a humble baked potato will benefit from a rub of salt after it has been washed; it makes for a crispy, moreish skin.
2. Use your leftovers
Leftover spuds in all their forms can be put to good use in a thrifty kitchen. Old roasties can be sautéed in a pan as the backbone of a breakfast hash; a few mushrooms, chopped bacon and a fried egg to finish. Mash can be refashioned into fishcakes or a clumsy bubble and squeak with a few wilted greens; you can even freeze it until you are in desperate need of a topping for your cottage pie.
3. Perfect partners
It is hard to think of much that a potato couldn’t pair well with. There are, however, some things with which they shine. You can’t go wrong with dairy in all forms; if you have ever eaten tartiflette or dauphinoise you’ll be in no doubt. Fresh herbs, too, be it a few sprigs of rosemary in the roasting tray of some chopped parsley in your mash. Don’t shy away from the garlic; just think chips and aioli.
Goes well with
All meat and fish
Dairy (Butter, Cream, Hard cheeses)
Garlic and onion
Herbs (Chives, Dill, Lovage, Parsley, Rosemary, Tarragon)
Spices (Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Nutmeg, Saffron)
The best roast potatoes
Serves: 4 Total time: 1h 20 min
Potato and fennel gratin
Serves: 6 Total time: 1h 20 min
Roast artichokes and new potatoes
Serves: 8 Total time: 1h 10 min
New potatoes baked in parchment
Serves: 4 Total time: 50 min
Roast new potatoes and artichokes with rosemary and lemon
Serves: 2 Total time: 55 min
Serves: 4 Total time: 25 min
In the field
Meet the grower: Andy Hayllor, Ashburton, Devon
As a founder member of the South Devon Organic Producers co-operative, Andy Hayllor supplies Riverford with brilliant organic vegetables and meat.
SeasonalityWe start the season with new potatoes in early May, moving to salad potatoes in July. For the rest of the year we use maincrop varieties that change as the season progresses.
Boil and use in salads. Varieties include Colleen, Charlotte, Lady Crystal, Lady Felicia, Jersey Royal, Maris Peer, Pink Fir Apple, Nicola and Novello.
Use for the very best roasties, as well as baking, mashing and chips. Varieties include King Edward, Cosmos, Desiree and Sante.
These multi-purpose spuds will serve you well cooked most ways. Varieties include Marfona, Robinta, Romano, Orla, Valor, and Maris Piper.