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goth potatoes and zucchini salad

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Purple potato bake

Unbelievably awesome potatoes. They are called Purple Majesty but I call them Goths.

Dark potatoes are fairly common, but the ones I’d had before would turn ordinary white when boiled. Not these beauties! These are perfectly unique. To start with, the skin is almost completely black and while scrubbed, they reveal to have a thin film covering the tuber - like a second skin or, as I like to think, a veil. In cross-section they are almost veined, like beetroot but in a more haphazard pattern. And then you boil them and, wonder of wonders, they stay purple, only taking on a blueish hue. The cooking water is turquoise and the picture doesn’t give it full justice.

Purple Majestic cooking liquid

The purple varieties are Majesty, Viking and Peruvian and in spite of the Viking red herring they are native to South America. But then all spuds are - perhaps the Goths were not too popular with the conquistadors as they didn’t remotely look edible?

They taste delicious, more waxy than floury which I prefer, but I imagine they could bake well. I believe they are supposed to be extremely nutritious and contain whatever it is that gets the cleans and the paleos excited, ‘packed with anti-oxidants’ like anything purple. But at the end of the day a spud is a spud - if you sustain on them alone you’ll get rickets. I’m so bored of those superfoods and anti-oxidants - so, so bored.

I wanted to include these spuds in a simple dish which could be entirely vegetarian if you get rid of pancetta with no harm to the taste. Zucchini is there for the contrasting colour, likewise the radish garnish. But if you can get hold of those post-punk wonders, you can just boil them and enjoy with a bit of salt and butter.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large zucchini, topped and tailed and sliced into ½ cm rounds
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • garlic pepper seasoning
  • salt and black pepper
  • 6-7 rashers of pancetta (optional)
  • 500-600g Purple Majesty potatoes (or any other new potatoes but it won’t be as much fun), washed and scrubbed
  • a few sprigs of dill, finely chopped
  • a handful of radishes, thinly sliced

Purple Majestic

METHOD

Heat the oil in a large skillet, griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and pepper. Fry them in batches until browned and scorched on both sides. Season with the garlic pepper and keep aside. Fry the pancetta over the residual heat in the pan until it just starts to curl (if you want to serve the dish as salad, fry the pancetta to your liking).

Goth potatoes

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes until tender - check with a tip of the knife (or simply fish the smallest one out and eat it). Drain and steam off.
If serving the dish as salad, arrange the potatoes and courgettes in a bowl, sprinkle with dill and garnish with the pancetta slices and radishes.

The alternative is to arrange the potatoes and zucchini on an ovenproof dish, top with the pancetta and blast it under the hot grill for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with dill and radish slices and serve.

Fiendishly...



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