Tag Archives: Blue Danube potatoes

Recipe: easy feta, potato and rosemary bread

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My life seems to consist of quick meals…quick pasta, quick noodles, quick risotto and this feta, potato and rosemary bread requires no bread flour or yeast, no lengthy kneading or resting and is extremely quick to chuck together.  I’d hate to buck the trend!

I found the basis for this in a magazine years ago, I think it was a Delia Smith recipe, but I have since tinkered with the ingredients trying different combinations to see what works best. I like to use goats cheese,  a good artisan Cheshire or even mozzarella (which is a bit soft, but the kids love that stringy-cheese effect) red onion goes well, spring onions, finely shredded leek or lots of fresh herbs. Have an experiment!

Whatever you choose to add the process is the same, you literally just shove all the ingredients in a big bowl, add an egg and milk, mix and bake it.

For bread purists this is more akin to a savoury tea bread than a traditional loaf. I make mine with self-raising flour, some good feta cheese (I used a local goats milk feta from Y Cwt Caws) fresh rosemary from the garden and a large grated Blue Danube potato so its stuffed full of tasty ingredients.

I ate my freshly baked bread with a creamy tomato and basil soup made with the first crops of Isle of Wight tomatoes which are just now becoming available. I warn you though its seriously addictive and once you start you wont be able to stop pulling or slicing little bits off and nibbling, convincing yourself that you can get away with just one more piece, until all of a sudden you’ve eaten the whole lot. Oh well, its full of good things so why not!


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half an hour later that’s all that was left!

Feta, potato and rosemary bread:

120g semi-hard cheese (feta, goats cheese, artisan Cheshire, even mozzarella) rind removed (if it has one) and chopped into small cubes.

a small red onion finely chopped, or thinly sliced (or half a dozen spring onions) or a bunch of leafy green mixed herbs like wild garlic, chives, chervil, parsley (if you do this leave out the rosemary)

1 medium/large potato peeled, washed and grated

a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves removed from the stalk

180g self-raising flour (I use Shipton Mill)

a teaspoon of salt (Halen Mon)

1 teaspoon smoked or unsmoked paprika (optional)

1 large egg mixed with about 3 tablespoons milk and a teaspoon of whole grain mustard

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and paprika. Add the grated potato, onion or herbs, and cheese and mix with a flat palette knife until combined. Add the milk and egg mixture and keep mixing until it comes together. Form into a loaf shape with your hands and transfer to a greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle a little flour and some finely chopped rosemary leaves over the top and bake in a preheated oven, gas mark 5/190 degrees C for about 45 mins until golden brown.

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Best roast potatoes ever!…Sarpo Blue Danube

I recently paid a return visit to The Sarvari Research Trust at Henfaes where David Shaw, the Director of Research gave me a guided tour of the farm and told me about the work they carry out there.

Sarpo varieties

The Sarvari Trust is a not-for-profit spin-off company of Bangor University that breed a new, late blight resistant type of potato. Sarpo (pronounced sharpo) potatoes yield heavy crops, are grown with low chemical and energy input and are GM free, they are also very resistant to virus diseases.

The potatoes were first grown in Hungary by the late Dr Sarvari Snr, who was director of Keszthely Research Institute (now University of Pannonia Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture, Potato Research Centre). At the request of his Soviet bosses he developed a hardy strain of potatoes that could be grown across the USSR and which would survive the ravages of the harsh climate and disease.

Our own climate in Wales although not as harsh as the Russian one, is somewhat inclement, so a hardy blight resistant potato is well needed. They also have a naturally long period of dormancy which means they will keep well without refrigeration and won’t prone to sprouting. They are perfect for the kitchen gardener, or allotment holder that wishes to store their potatoes through until the following spring and who like their crops to look after themselves!

I wondered if this blight resistance would have an effect on taste and David gave me three varieties to take away and try. The Sarpo Mira (a good general purpose floury main crop potato, recommended for baking, roasting and chipping), Kifli (an early main crop, quite waxy and best cooked as salad potatoes in their skins) and the Blue Danube (early main crop, best mashed, chipped, baked and for general purpose).

Blue Danube...with their lovely purpley blue skin colour

I decided to try the Blue Danube first and see how they roasted and oh my goodness! They were delicious. I part boiled them for 5 minutes and then tossed them in hot vegetable oil that had heated in a roasting pan in the oven. This is the secret to good roast potatoes…the oil must be spitting. Sprinkle with a little Halen Mon sea salt and return to the oven on a high gas (6 or 7, 220 degrees) for about 45 minutes until golden brown. Wehen I took them out they were light and fluffy on the inside and beautifully crisp on the outside. I smiled at their perfection and I have to admit I could hardly stop eating them. They didn’t last long. they were also good sauteed, taking on a similarly golden crispiness and the other two varieties were just as good, passing the taste test with flying colours.

sauteed potatoes...golden and crispy loveliness

If you want to try your hand at growing Sarpo potatoes they are exclusively stocked by Thompson & Morgan the gardening experts.  I know I will be sticking a few Blue Danube in my veg patch next year!



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