We love homegrown potatoes. I just don’t understand when I hear people say that growing potatoes isn’t worth it. The flavor and texture of a just-dug potato is so much better than what you can buy in a grocery store (but maybe not better than what you can find at farmers’ markets).
So what did I grow this year? The most common grocery store potato in England. But I don’t live in England, and when I ordered seed potatoes this year I had no idea that ‘Maris Piper’ is ubiquitous there. I don’t think it is here, unless we grow and sell them under another name. I’m also growing ‘Rose Finn Apple’, also known as ‘Pink Fir Apple’, and ‘German Butterball’.
I noticed flowers on ‘Maris Piper’ a few weeks ago, and flowering is a pretty good indication that tubers are beginning to form. So this week I cautiously dug around the base of the plants and was surprised at the size of some of the potatoes I found. It appears that ‘Maris Piper’ is a good yielder. I’ll continue to remove a few potatoes at a time while the plants are still growing and then when the plants die down, I’ll dig the area thoroughly to harvest any remaining tubers.
The first potatoes of the year demand very simple cooking, so the flavor and texture shine through. I sliced them thickly and pan-fried in a mixture of butter and olive oil with a few whole cloves of fresh ‘Ajo Rojo’ garlic. Added salt and pepper to taste and that’s all.
This is my contribution to the Garden-to-Table Challenge at Greenish Thumb – a worldwide weekly blog roundup of great food from kitchen gardeners.