We harvested some small potatoes from the garden plot a couple of weeks ago. We were excited to try them, but were really disappointed in them. Trouble is we are not sure what they were called. They look a little like new potatoes, but when cooked the skin falls off and they appear dry and floury on the inside. But as a couple not to waste, I was looking for ways to disguise both the flavour and texture.
I was inspired by a recipe called Spanish Potatoes that I saw whilst flicking through one of my cookbooks. I purchased Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison when I went to see my best friend in the US. We wen to Berkeley for the day. I went into the famous independent Cody's bookshop and came out with this book as it was one my friend recommended. I have cooked from it, but not as much as I would like to have. Sadly Cody Bookshop closed its doors in 2006.
Romesco sauce is made with red pepper, nuts and bread. It originates from the Catalonia area in Spain, however this version has paprika in place of the red peppers.
A word of warning, this recipe is one to make when you are home pottering about as it can take up to two hours to bake in the oven slowly and it is worth it, as the flavours of these bland potatoes was completely transformed into something quite delicious.
If you like the sound of this, then you may also like Easy Briam Greek Vegetable Bake.
I am sharing the Spanish Potatoes with Family Friends and Food and Utterly Scrummy for One Potato, Two Potato challenge.
Spanish Potatoes with Saffron and French Beans
500g smallish boiling potatoes, sliced in half
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pinches of saffron threads (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice brown bread, cubed
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Handful of almonds
1/2 litre of vegetable stock
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Optional: 200g french beans, topped and tailed and sliced in half
Small handful of pine nuts
Preheat oven to gas mark 5/200o
Lightly oil a gratin dish enough to hold the potatoes preferably in a single layer. Add the potatoes, season them with salt and pepper and scatter over the saffron.
In a wide pan, heat the oil, then add the bread cubes along with the garlic and almonds.
Remove the garlic if it begins to get too dark, add it to the potatoes.
Then transfer the bread to a food processor, along with the paprika and stock and blitz until smooth.
Scrape over the potatoes.
Then pour over the remaining stock.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil, add the optional French beans and give it a good stir.
Return to the oven for another 30 minutes or longer, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison