Tim Dover, head chef at The Roost in Bridge of Earn, loves this time of the year when Jersey Royal potatoes become available.
The last year has been a challenge for all businesses throughout the country especially hospitality, and it’s been no different at our restaurant.
Now that we’re organising to reopen, it has brought a real buzz of excitement for me, a positive spin on things at last, so planning our new menu has proved to be super exciting. Why? because we reopen at a time when Britain’s larder starts to flourish.
Foods like asparagus, broad beans, radishes, peas, and rhubarb will now start to become plentiful. There is one star of the show for me at this time of year and that is Jersey Royal potatoes.
These kidney-shaped new potatoes have a wispy skin and gain their unique, sweet, nutty taste from the light soil and mild climate of the Channel Island. In the height of their season in May, up to 1,500 tonnes of Jersey Royals are imported daily.
These tasty new potatoes will hold their own on any dinner table but are also strong enough in flavour to pair with other strong flavours and will also work wonderfully well in hot or cold salads.
Here is a simple salad recipe for you to try at home. The bitter chicory and salty pancetta pair deliciously with the fluffy potato and the recipe is easy and quick to prepare.
Jersey royal and pancetta hash with radicchio and maple hazelnuts
- 750g jersey royal potatoes
- 200g cubed pancetta
- 50g skin-on hazelnuts
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ orange
- 2 radicchio lettuce
- Salt and pepper
- Dice the potatoes. Heat the pancetta lardons in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry slowly until golden and crisp. Add the potatoes and fry, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until just crisp and tender.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop and toast the hazelnuts in a small pan with a little oil over a low-medium heat. Add the maple syrup and cook for another minute or two until sticky.
- Season the potatoes, add the flat leaf parsley and tarragon, then toss through. Make the salad dressing by adding the sherry vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh orange juice, season and set aside.
- Quarter the radicchio, cut out and discard the core, scatter the leaves on a large plate, then drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle the hash mix over the top of the leaves, top with extra chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle over the maple hazelnuts. Serve immediately.
Chef’s tip: When it comes to Jersey Royals you should store them in a cool, dark place as putting them in the fridge turns the starch to sugar, making them lose much of their signature flavour.