This week’s potatoes are new Cornish ‘Coleen’. The carrots are Spanish along with the beetroot and courgettes (although we have a few grown under cover in Herefordshire for the UK produce boxes). The lettuce and asparagus are from North Yorkshire. In the fruit boxes we have the first of the season’s ‘Galia’ melons from Spain and cherries from France and English strawberries should be along soon. These new summer crops are very welcome now that the European citrus fruit is finishing and we’re relying on apples and pears from the southern hemisphere.
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A Warm Salad of Asparagus and New Potatoes
Based on a recipe by Simon Hopkins in ‘The Vegetarian Option’. A starter for 4 or a meal for 2 ...
400g new potatoes,
2 sprigs fresh mint,
1 lettuce washed, dried and sliced,
2 hard- boiled eggs shelled,
salt (preferably Maldon sea salt for its flakey texture).
For the buttery sauce ...
the juice of 1 lemon,
a pinch of caster sugar,
75g cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces,
1 tbsp chopped chives ...
Boil the potatoes with the mint sprigs until just tender. Drain, reserving the water, cover them and keep them warm.
To make the sauce, squeeze the lemon into a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.
Add 6 tbsp of the potato cooking water and the sugar, and simmer until reduced by half.
Whisk in the butter a little at a time using the lowest possible level of heat to stop the sauce from splitting.
Season with pepper and keep warm.
Trim the asparagus and split the pieces lengthways.
Drop into boiling, salted water for two minutes or until just tender and drain.
Stir the potatoes and asparagus into the butter sauce with the chives.
Arrange the lettuce on the plates, divide the asparagus and potatoes between them, grate on the egg and sprinkle on the salt.
Mr Hopkinson recommends a scattering of chervil but it’s not widely available; try a little dill, parsley or mint if you have some to hand.