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Recipe: Jersey Royal potatoes with peas, wild garlic & crème fraîche

Grab some Jersey Royal potatoes and a handful of wild garlic to make this delicious spring dish from Michelin-starred Bristol chef Rob Howell’s debut cookbook, Root.

At Root, the award-winning Bristol restaurant in two shipping containers on Bristol’s dockside, it’s the veggies that take centre stage, with fish and meat on the side. Now its Michelin star head chef, Rob Howell (formerly at Josh Eggleton’s The Pony & Trap – that Michelin star in 2011 – Goodfellows in Wells and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac, amongst others), has published his first cookbook, Root.

root

Go gather some wild garlic and follow his delicious recipe for Jersey Royal potatoes with peas, wild garlic and crème fraîche. Yum, yum, yum.

root

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

  • 1kg Jersey Royal potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10g salt
  • 2 tbps cooking oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 200g fresh peas
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tbps flat leaved parsley, chopped
  • 2 handfuls wild garlic
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche

For the pea puree

  • 50 ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 375 frozen peas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pan with enough cold water just to cover them. Add the bay, thyme and mint sprigs and the crushed garlic and salt. (Feel free to use other aromatics if you wish – just any that you have available, for example. parsley, rosemary and oregano would all work too). Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Cook the potatoes gently for about 20-25 mins until just tender to the point of a knife. (They will continue to cook a little once you have drained them, so you don’t want them too soft). Drain and leave to cool in the colander.
  2. To make the pea puree, heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. When hot, add the shallot and garlic, season with a touch of salt and fry for 2-3 mins until softened. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the peas and season again with the salt and this time pepper, too. Take the pan off the heat and drain the peas, reserving the stock.
  3. Set aside 100ml of the reserved stock in a jug. Put the peas in a food processor, add a little bit of the remaining stock liquid and blend. Keep adding stock through the feed tube little by little until you have a lovely smooth pea puree. If you want an extra-smooth consistency, pass the puree through a sieve but it’s not essential. Check the seasoning and cool the puree as quickly as possible – transferring it to a bowl and setting it inside a larger bowl filled with ice and placing it in the fridge is a good way to do this. Chill until needed. (It also keeps well for 2–3 days in the fridge and freezes well.)
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and fry for 30 seconds, then add the cooled potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh peas and the reserved 100ml of stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add the butter, herbs and wild garlic (reserve a few wild garlic flowers for garnish). Stir through the pea puree, adding enough to coat the potatoes and to create a nice saucy pan of green goodness (you can use any of the remaining puree as a soup or to serve with fish). Check the seasoning one last time and trasnfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with wild garlic flowers and serve with the crème fraîche on top.

Root, by Rob Howell, published by Bloomsbury Books, is out now. Order from your local bookshop or enter our Reader Treat competition to win one of three copies we’re giving away.

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