Have you forgotten just how tasty Jersey Royal potatoes are? Available from April until the end of June, Jersey Royals are considered to be the ‘Champagne of the potato world’. Farmer Jimmy Doherty has collaborated with Jersey Royal new potatoes to create a range of delicious family-friendly recipes that will see us through from spring until summer.
I was very lucky to be invited to an intimate dinner at cookery school, Food at 52 with Jimmy and other food lovers where we learned first hand all the love and hard work put into getting these special potatoes onto our plates. And if they’re not grown in Jersey they are are not genuine Jersey Royals. Grown elsewhere they do not taste the same.
We started off with Jersey gin, and teeny tiny Jersey Royal canapes with dips, followed by Jersey Royal spring vegetable frittata, then Jersey Royal pasty (filled with sausages too, mmm), and Jersey Royal halloumi & rosemary skewers. Yes, I had to be rolled out the door…
The meal finished with gorgeous genuine Jersey cheese, and the most delightful Jersey Black Butter…I highly recommend it!
Their Protected Designation of Origin status means farmers use 130 year-old techniques to ensure their nutty flavour, creamy consistency and flaky skins. Lovingly tended to throughout their growing process, planting for the Jersey Royals season begins in January, when seed potatoes are planted by hand on south-facing côtils (steep slopes) overlooking the beautiful Jersey coastline. Protected from sea breezes by fleecy blankets throughout the winter, come Spring these precious crops are then hand-harvested and delivered to your local supermarket or greengrocers within 48 hours.
Nutritional benefits of Jersey Royals
- Eating delicious Jersey Royals provides you with a good proportion of your recommended daily allowance of nutrients
- Jersey Royals are a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates or starch, which are usually the main source of energy for the body and vital for growth and development
- Unlike other carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, especially the skins (100g of Jersey Royal New Potatoes would provide you with 25% of the RDA for vitamin C). Vitamin C is essential in the diet for maintaining healthy skin, hair, bones, teeth and gums (quantity per 100g is 15mg)
- Vitamin B is also present in potatoes and fundamental in helping carbohydrates work properly to provide energy for the body. Vitamin B also helps maintain a healthy skin and nervous system
- It is a common myth that potatoes are fattening and they are often banished from the diet when people are trying to lose weight. However potatoes are actually very low in fat and combined with exercise, are a fantastic way to maintain a healthy lifestyle (quantity per 100g is 0.3g)
- Fibre is abundant in un-refined carbohydrates such as Jersey Royals and essential for the digestion process and making you feel full for longer. Nutritionists recommend that 18g of fibre is consumed daily to ensure a healthy diet (quantity per 100g is 1.5g)
- The protein in Jersey Royals is relatively small, but it is significant as it is of a comparable quality to egg protein (quantity per 100g is 1.4g)
I am going to share Jimmy’s Jersey Royal Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Herb Shake in a Bag recipe today but I have a couple of others I’ll share over the next few weeks.
This recipe makes a fab change to roast potatoes with your Sunday roast but would go just as well with fish or a midweek meal of chops, it’s very easy and very tasty too.
- 750g Jersey Royal new potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut in half
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 stems of rosemary, 1 stem leaves finely chopped
- 2 stems of thyme, 1 stem leaves finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp pure sea salt flakes
- 1 x 37cm x 20cm parchment paper cooking bag (available from Sous Chef) OR double up a 37cm x 20cm sheet of parchment paper
- 1 length of butcher’s twine or string
- ) Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
- ) Put the Jersey Royals in the parchment bag or make a bag out of a double thickness of parchment paper measuring 37cm x 20cm. Fold three sides over, sealing each side with a little beaten egg brushed onto the edge before folding. Leave one side open.
- Drizzle the potatoes with the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper.
- ) Scrunch the top of the bag and tie securely with the twine, or seal once more using the beaten egg before folding. Leave plenty of space around the Jersey Royals.
- ) Shake the bag vigorously to ensure the potatoes are well covered in the oil, vinegar and herbs.
- Place the bag in a roasting tray and roast for 30- 40 minutes depending on the size of the Jersey Royals.
- ) Carefully, pierce the bag to release the steam, then tear open and serve at the table in the parchment bag.
If you’re hosting a dinner party and short for time, this dish is a simply delicious side. You’ll have time to prepare the main whilst the Jersey Royals are in the oven.
Don’t forget to go and get your Jersey Royal potatoes! If we don’t buy them they’ll go into decline…and over a third of the tiny Island of Jersey is made up of Jersey Royal Potato fields.
- Jersey hand plants over 150,000,000 individual Jersey Royal seed potatoes from January to March to produce the tastiest new potatoes around for the UK between April and June. If planted in a straight line this is enough Jersey Royals to reach around the circumference of the earth. It would take one person 25 years to hand plant this amount of seed
- Over 600 workers combine to ensure that Jersey Royals are on our plates for April – farmers monitor the weather hourly and cover the precious crop with fleecy blankets when it’s frosty
To find more recipes using Jersey Royals, please visit jerseyroyals.co.uk
To find out more about Jimmy visit www.jimmysfarm.com