I recently visited Jersey and hung out with the Royals! They are everywhere, the island is literally covered in the beautiful rich green leaves and white flowers that are the foliage of the Jersey Royal potato.
They grow on steep banks which get long hours of sunshine and the soil has brilliant drainage. I was not there to see the harvest but was told it is quite a sight. As the banks are too steep for machines it must be done by hand. Harvesters crawl on hands and knees up and down the rows, it is back breaking work.
The Jersey Royal is a firm, waxy potato, small and sweet, it is in a class of its own.
Now I have seen them growing I have even more respect for them and their producers who make the most of the very small land mass. Luckily for us 99% of the crop is exported to the UK. The Jersey Royal has an EU PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) meaning that if a potato is not from Jersey it cannot claim to be a Jersey Royal, much like champagne from France.
Hot smoked trout and Jersey Royal potato salad
- 200g smoked trout. Black Mountain from Abergavenny is very tasty
- 100g new season small Jersey Royals
- 100g peppery water cress or rocket
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp crème fraiche
- Squeeze of lemon
- Fresh parsley and or dill
Wash the potatoes gently in water removing the mud. Boil a pan of salted water and plunge the potatoes in, boil for 10 minutes or until tender to the point of a knife.
Whilst the spuds are cooking finely chop the spring onions and mix with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, lemon and fresh herbs.
Lightly toast the sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan and add. Drain the spuds and immediately dress.
Flake in half the trout and two thirds of the watercress and spoon onto the plate, topping with the last of the trout, watercress and a splash of olive oil.
Additionally you could add soft boiled quails eggs or hard boiled chickens egg and as I have just got chickens in my back garden I am having fresh free range eggs in mine. The chickens are another story!
We can buy all things in the supermarkets all year round but to eat our more local gems you do have to follow the seasons. The early season potatoes in the shops now are small and very tender, they are in season now. The later season ones (late May – early June) are larger and have more flavour, both are fabulous.
Look to buy unwashed potatoes; they travel better wearing a jacket of earth!
Photo by: WordRidden