Chef and cookery teacher Gemma Wade was invited by Jeany and Stephen Cronk to Cotignac in Provence, where the ex-pat British couple make Mirabeau wines. The challenge was to create an Easter feast using ingredients from the town’s Tuesday market to go alongside the wines that Mirabeau produce there. Having prepared Provençal stuffed courgette flowers as an amuse-bouche, Gemma chose to serve cod with a tapenade crust and rosé-braised fennel for mains and roast radish and asparagus with lemon and cheese crumbs. Here is Gemma’s recipe for new potatoes with salsa verde butter.
This salsa verde butter came about by accident when I had leftover salsa verde from another recipe and mushed some with butter to sneak onto a chunk of crusty bread. Now I’m obsessed with it. You can make a log of it, wrap it in parchment and freeze it then just cut a chunk off when you need it for cooking. Use it to dress vegetables, stuff under the skin of a roast chicken or to spread thickly on bread. It will last for a week in the fridge.
We were lucky enough to find wild garlic on the market, if you don’t have any, you can use chives instead.
Leftover potatoes, even once dressed with the salsa verde butter are delicious roasted. In fact I’d make extra just so you can have them roasted a couple of days later.
- 1kg (2 ¼ lb) new or baby potatoes
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
For the salsa verde butter:
- 30g (1oz) flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks
- 30g (1oz) chives or wild garlic
- 1 heaped tablespoon capers
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 250g softened butter
1Cut any large potatoes in half but otherwise leave them whole. Put the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water with a teaspoon of sea salt and simmer for around 20 minutes until tender.
2Put the butter in a bowl large enough to fit on top of the pan of potatoes and leave it there to melt slightly.
3Make the salsa verde by putting all the ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle and crush to an almost smooth paste. Taste and add more honey, vinegar or salt as needed.
4Add the softened butter to the salsa verde and mix before scraping onto a piece of parchment, squishing into a log, wrapping and scrunching the ends closed like a Christmas cracker.
5When the potatoes are tender, drain, return to the pan and add a couple of tablespoons of the salsa verde butter. Toss until it is melted, coating the potatoes then serve.