New Potatoes, french beans and pesto


This is the kind of thing you might be served in the south of France in the summer and everything points to a south of France style weekend (woohoo!!!). It’s a cinch to throw together and all the ingredients are to hand and most of all it’s really tasty. Enjoy.

New Potatoes and french beans with pesto (for 2 as a main)

You’ll need:

1k New potatoes

150gr French beans

For the pesto:

A large handful basil with the tougher stalks removed

3-4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped

3 tablespoons pinenuts

A generous pinch Maldon salt

3-4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (vegans can skip this as I did recently and it tasted just as good)

A generous slug of your best olive oil

First of all wash your potatoes and drop them into boiling water. If there’s a variety of sizes start with the bigger ones then add the smaller ones after a few minutes so they’re ready at the same time. Top and tail the beans then steam for about 3-4 minutes. Be sure and keep them al dente. When they’re done rinse in cold water and set aside.

To make the pesto put blend the basil, oil, garlic and pinenuts with a handblender. Don’t make it too smooth, a bit of texture is nice. Finally stir in the cheese and salt. Taste and add more oil or salt as needed.

When the potatoes are ready, let them cool down a bit then roughly chop the larger ones and mix with the beans. Top with a dollop of pesto and lots of black pepper.

Have a brilliant weekend,



Baked New Potatoes

Yesterday they said there’d be more rain in the next 36 hours than there is in a month usually. As we know that’s saying a LOT. Makes my salad idea for this week’s recipe seem like a bit of a non-runner doesn’t it? So, I made baked potatoes with this week’s new spuds for a comforting, forget about the weather kind of lunch today. I parboiled them first then rolled them in olive oil and sea salt. That way you get that lovely moreish crispy skin (we need a treat). I also added some rosemary for flavour and brilliant antioxidant properties.

Serve with some butter, olive oil or some garlic mayo for the ultimate in comfort eating. I ate mine with some of those asparagus we got in yesterday which I lightly steamed  then seared on a burning hot pan. I finished them with a dressing of  olive oil and lemon juice and threw on some Parmesan shavings – yum yum. Some of this week’s broccoli lightly steamed and dressed in extra virgin olive oil would be lovely too………

Salt crusted baked new potatoes with rosemary

You’ll need :

1k new potatoes

Olive oil

1 heaped teaspoon sea salt

A couple of sprigs rosemary

Parboil your spuds until just tender then toss in a drizzle of oil and the salt. Throw onto a baking tray and roast with the rosemary at gas mark 7 for about 30 minutes.

And for desert…

This week’s apricots are the obvious choice. If the rain keeps up and you want a project you could do a lot worse than to make an almond tart with them (and it’s not half as complicated as it sounds – I promise! ).

Have a brilliant weekend,


The first of the Marc Michel’s baby salad leaves are in your bag this week and I ate them with this week’s new potatoes. It was  just one of those days. Summery but not sunny, weekendy but still Friday…… you get the idea. This is one of those any occasion dishes. Could be lunch or with a piece of grilled fish or an omelette it could be dinner. Easy. I’m not in the mood to cook more than once these days.Except for desert that is. I’m currently fiddling with a recipe for a kind of jammy rhubarb and almond slice thingy. Recipe will follow if things go well.

So, the salad. Simple really. Boiled spuds, roughly chopped, with Greek olives, Killeen goat’s cheese, Marc’s baby leaves and a few chives sniped from the pot outside the back door. The dressing was a classic honey and mustard job with sherry vinegar but balsamic or red wine would do just as well.

A new potato salad with baby leaves, olives, chives and Killeen Goat’s cheese (serves 4 )

You’ll need:

1k new potatoes scrubbed

2 big handfuls mixed baby leaves

150gr semi hard goat’s cheese such as Killeen

A handful olives  – I used those shrivelled Greek black ones but it’s up to you

A few chives

A small handful pumpkin seeds toasted

The dressing:

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard

2 teaspoons runny honey

A pinch of Maldon salt crushed

Scrub the potatoes and bring to the boil then simmer until tender then drain and set aside to cool. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together (or shaking them up in a jam jar!). Stone the olives and tear them up a bit. Dice the  the cheese. When the spuds have cooled chop them into bitesize pieces and toss with the cheese, olives, pumpkin seeds and dressing. Lay on the salad leaves, top with some chives and serve.

Enjoy x

I have a houseful of family visiting from overseas this weekend so I’m going to make this quick. We’ve just had lunch in the garden (with wine so my spelling may be worse than usual!!) and I’ve sneaked upstairs to send this. I made a salad with this week’s gorgeous new potatoes from Marc Michel along with our broad beans and red onions. I dressed it in olive oil and sherry vinegar with a little honey and wholegrain mustard for good measure. For a dose of salty intensity I  threw in some of those wrinkly black olives which I stoned and tore before tossing in.
We ate all this with some of our cherry vine tomatoes that I roasted over a low heat for about 6 hours. I just threw them in after breakfast with a little olive oil and salt. Normally I add a little sugar but they are so sweet at this time of year there’s really no need. Some baked feta, a plain green salad and crusty bread completed things.
As did a bottle of chilled Albarino……..
A summer salad of new potatoes, broad beans, olives and red onions
You’ll need:
1 kilo new potatoes
1/2 red onion (finely sliced)
a handful of black olives torn on half   
500gr broad beans 
The dressing:
6 tablespoons
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 level teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 level teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
Wash (they don’t need peeling just a scrub) and cook the potatoes. I put them in cold water which I bring to the boil then it normally takes 10 – 15 minutes after that. If you have different sizes drop the bigger ones in first, wait a few minutes then add the smaller ones. Prepare the broad beans by podding then steaming them for about 3 minutes. When they’re cooked, allow them to cool down a bit then pop each bean out of its skin and set aside.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. When the potatoes are ready put them in a bowl and roughly chop the larger ones so they are all bite sized. Throw in the beans, onions and olives. Add the dressing and toss everything together. Taste then add a little more salt and/or vinegar if you think it needs it. Enjoy!!!
Gotta go – they’re pouring more wine!!
Have a great weekend,