Celebrating Spuds With Jimmy’s Farm

JerseyRoyals

I love potatoes. There, I’ve said it. Baked, mashed, Gratin, Dauphinoise, fried, boiled, new, salad, all of them. I’ve never met a potato I don’t like. Despite that, I know very little about them, such a staple of my diet as a child growing up in the 80’s when we probably had them at least 4 times a week but arguably going out of fashion in recent years owing to a decreasing popularity of carb-related foods.

Last week I headed off to a Clerkenwell and Food at 52 for an evening of correcting my lack of knowledge with a closer look at the humble Jersey Royal in the company of Jimmy Doherty from Jimmy’s Farm and a delicious Jersey-and-potato themed menu.

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Known as Jersey Royals, these small, almost salad potatoes have been grown on the island for 130 years and are typically harvested between March and July following an outdoor crop planting between January and April. We were fortunate enough to eat some delicious potatoes which had been planted in January and were so fresh out of the ground they still had an authentic coating of island soil.

The Jersey Royals website provides comprehensive information about the production of the potatoes and the care and dedication which goes into each and every crop:Β The Jersey soil is light and well drained and many farmers still use seaweed harvested from Jersey beaches as a natural fertilizer (it is known locally as Vraic). Jersey has some of the most formidable tidal flows in the world, and the strong movement of the sea deposits large quantities of vraic on the shore. The practice of using vraic on the land dates back to the 12th century.

And despite what most people think about potatoes, Jersey Royals are a fantastic source of Vitamins B, C and fibre, all of which are important for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Jimmy is passionate about raising awareness of this humble foodstuff, noted as our favourite new potato and distinguishable by it’s delicate, flaky skin and works closely with the farming and production in Jersey. We were treated to an absolute feast at Food at 52 showcasing the incredible versatility of these small, nutty staples.

On the menu for our delectation were the following mouthwatering dishes:

Jersey Royal dipping platter with chive crème fraiche, chimichurri sauce and basil pesto, accompanied with a very welcome G&T (teeny potato decoration!)

JerseyRoyals

JerseyRoyals

JerseyRoyals

Jersey Royals spring frittata with pea shoot and mint salad

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Jersey Royals cheese, onion and sausage pastes with quick tomato jam

Jersey Royal rosemary skewers

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Simply Jersey Royals (boiled) with butter and mint

JerseyRoyals

The food was nothing short of out of this world proving that the days of just boiling potatoes until they fell apart a-la-1980’s are a thing of the past. Accompanied by wine and Jersey Apple Press Cloudy Apple Juice and finished off with three types of cheese, apple calva AND fudge produced on the island, I wasn’t joking when I said I’d need someone to roll me home. It’s a long time since I’ve eaten so much in one sitting but it was more than worth it.

JerseyRoyals

JerseyRoyals

JerseyRoyals

We were also give a portion of Jersey potatoes to take home and try out Jimmy’s Jersey Royal Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Herb Shake in a Bag and here’s what you need to do if you’d like to have a go:

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

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Ingredients

750g Jersey Royal new potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut in half (which I just realised I forgot to do!)

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 stems of rosemary, 1 stem leaves finely chopped

2 stems of thyme, 1 stem leaves finely chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp pure sea salt flakes

1 x 37cm x 20cm parchment paper cooking bag

1 length of butcher’s twine or string

JerseyRoyals

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan

Put the Jersey Royals in the parchment bag or make a bag out of a double thickness of parchment paper measuring 37cm x 20cm. Fold three sides over, sealing each side with a little beaten egg brushed onto the edge before folding. Leave one side open. Drizzle the potatoes with the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper

Scrunch the top of the bag and tie securely with the twine, or seal once more using the beaten egg before folding. Leave plenty of space around the Jersey Royals

Shake the bag vigorously to ensure the potatoes are well covered in the oil, vinegar and herbs

Place the bag in a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the Jersey Royals. Carefully, pierce the bag to release the steam, then tear open and serve at the table in the parchment bag.

We served ours with some salmon and a dill/creme fraiche sauce – perfect!

JerseyRoyals

Thank you so much to Food at 52 and Jimmy’s Farm for inviting me to attend this event. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.
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12 Comments

  1. April 26, 2016 / 11:25 am

    You met Jimmy???? Swoon!!!!! I love potatoes (and him) too and could eat them in different varieties all day πŸ™‚ Lovely post and what a fab day!!! xx

    • Lins
      April 26, 2016 / 12:42 pm

      Hehe he’s definitely got QUITE the fan base as it turns out πŸ˜‰ It was a super fun evening, love exploring London and meeting new people Xx

  2. April 26, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I was invited to this but couldn’t make it – would have been lovely to meet you AND I love potatoes! x

    • Lins
      April 27, 2016 / 9:47 am

      I think I’m cursed, I’ve been to a few events where I’ve missed out on seeing people!! I hope we can meet somewhere soon, it would be really lovely X

  3. April 26, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    These look delicious and I bet it was so much fun meeting Jimmy! I’ve not thought of doing salt and vinegar potatoes before – if you can do it with crisps, why not roast potatoes too?! Alice xx

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    • Lins
      April 27, 2016 / 9:46 am

      Yes absolutely! Theyd have been even tastier if I’d remembered to cut them in half before cooking πŸ™‚ Xx

  4. April 27, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    What a fabulous day and a great selection of recipes as well. Loving the vinegar and herb coating, definitely one to try

    • Lins
      April 29, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you Alison, it really was so much fun X

  5. April 27, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Potatoes are my favourites. I love them!!! Any kind, too. When I was younger, I survived on boiled, new potatoes and mint sauce for about a year πŸ™‚

    • Lins
      April 29, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      I really feel they get a bad rep these days, I ate so many growing up and they were a very staple part of the diet X (not sure I could have survived for a year on them though!)

  6. April 28, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    The potatoes in all their guises look delicious, what a fab meet up and feast. Thanks for linking up x

    • Lins
      April 29, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      It’s amazing what you can do with something so humble! Thank you for hosting X

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