One thing I LOVE about Dutch people is that they love potatoes or – aardappelen as much as me. As a Canadian, I’m not sure I can say that loving spuds is really in our culture (because we don’t really have a food culture) but I think most people can appreciate a good potato. Think about all the delicious things you can make with them like: potato rosti, french fries, mash potatoes, potato pancakes, baked potatoes, potato soup, stamppot (a dutch staple) and potato gratin to name a few. This recipe for new potatoes with butter and mint is a recipe from my nanna that is simple, easy and something I never get tired of.
My British nanna (that’s what Brits call grandmothers in case you didn’t know) has always been passionate about food and got me hooked at a young age. When she and my grandpa left England for a new life in Canada they brought with them a few recipes that reminded them of home. Traditionally this recipe would use jersey potatoes which are smaller potatoes ready in May that used to be fertilized with seaweed. This gave the spuds a delicious and unique flavour but unfortunately is not practiced anymore. But of course we can still enjoy the tradition by using local new potatoes with the same flavour.
I love mint…
Potatoes go so well with just about any fresh herb added at the end. Although mint might not be something you would normally put with potatoes, it adds an incredible freshness that goes great with newly harvested potatoes.
Potatoes, when eaten with the skins are healthier than white rice, and flour because they are less refined. They also contain vitamin C naturally which rice and wheat do not.
Netherlands and future farming
The Dutch are actually the biggest exporter of potatoes in the world with a surprisingly small land mass. This is because of the immense amount of research that has gone into sustainable potato farming in the Netherlands. The Dutch have become world leaders in agricultural innovation, pioneering new paths to fight hunger. Pretty cool!
Nanna's New Potatoes
- 800 g new potatoes or enough to fill a pot
- 100 g butter you can definitely add less if you like
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 sprinkle maldon sea salt
- 1 sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper
- First, give the potatoes a little scrub in cold water to remove any leftover dirt. Don't scrub too hard or you will remove all the skin.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water and add the salt and garlic. Put a lid on and bring to a boil. Once boiled, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until completely soft when poked with a knife.
- Drain the potatoes and discard the garlic. Add the butter, black pepper and a few leaves of fresh mint. Mix gently with a spoon.
- Serve in a big bowl or plate. Garnish with a nice sprinkling of crunchy Maldon sea salt and fresh sprigs of mint. Enjoy!