New Potato and Edamame Salad

The father of a friend of my son has a potato farm in Jersey. He very kindly sent us a box of delicious early Jersey Royals. So flavoursome they don’t need much added to turn them into a delicious potato salad. You can buy podded, frozen edamame at most supermarkets now. This works well served with a tart perhaps, or just with some hummus, yogurt and flatbread.

The number is serves depends on how many potatoes you use and what you are serving with.

Small new potatoes (Any type will do)
A dollop of pesto – I used Basil but you can use your favourite type
A handful of edamame – or use broad beans or peas
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil and cook for 5-8 minutes depending on size. Check they are just soft. Drain and leave to cool.

Bring more water to the boil and cook the edamame as per the instructions. If using broad beans, boil for 3-4 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water then pop the skins off.

Mix the potatoes (cut them into chunks if they are on the large side) with the edamame and pesto. Add a little olive oil to loosen the dressing. Then season with salt and pepper.


Fried Courgettes with Tomato and Fennel Seed Sauce

I wasn’t sure how this would work out but being an Ottolenghi-based dish from Waitrose Kitchen magazine I knew it would probably be a safe bet.


The original recipe uses marrow which I find tends to be a little too watery and the skin can sometimes be very tough. I used large courgettes which are more reasdily available and have a little more taste and texture.

2 large courgettes – about 800g
5 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
400g finely chopped fresh tomatoes
pinch caster sugar
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a few basil leaves

Cut the courgettes into 1.5cm thick slices. Crush 2 cloves of garlic in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and black pepper. Add the courgettes slices, mix well and leave for at least 30 minutes.

Put the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Thinly slice the remainder of the garlic and add to the pan followeed by the fennel seeds. After about 2 minutes add the tomatoes, sugar and a little salt. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened then remove from the heat and give it a quick blitx with a stick blender. The sauce doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but if you prefer it that way then keep on blitzing…

You can cook the courgettes in a frying pan or griddle or I find it easiest in a pannini grill. Heat the pan, griddle or grill and fry/griddle the marinaded courgette slices in batches until slightly charred on both sides. Spread the cooked courgette slices out in an oven proof dish then pour over the tomato sauce.

You can serve this at room temperature. I prefer it hot which also improves the texture of the courgettes, in which case place in the oven at 180oC for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle chopped, torn of slices basil leaves over the top before serving. Works well with roasted new potatoes, steamed rice or flat breads


Spaghetti With Pea and Broad Bean Pesto

It’s pea and broad bean season on the allotment (but you can use frozen if you don’t grow your own).

Serves 4
100g shelled peas
100g shelled broad beans
1 small leek
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon
a small block of parmesan – about 100g – finely grated
more olive oil
200g spaghetti

Bring a large pan of water to the boil the add the peas and broad beans. Birng back up to the boil and leave boiling rapidly for 3-4 minutes. Drain then soak the peas and beans in cold water to stop them overcooking. Now the fiddly bit – remove the tough skins from the beans.

While the beans and peas are cooling, halve the leek lengthways the slice finely. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the leeks and garlic. Fry gently until soft then put the leeks and the beans and peas into a food processor. If you don’t have one, put them in a large bowl and get ready with your potato masher.

Add a handful of chopped fresh basil, salt, lemon juice, grated parmesan and good splash of olive oil then pulse with the processor blade or mash until you have a rough paste. Thin with more oil if needed.

Bring another large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the pack. When cooked, drain, return the pan to the heat and add the bean and pea mixture. Then add the spaghetti and stir well. Once the pesto has warmed through, serve with a simple tomato salad.

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