Spud, tater, kōkari, murphy, new potatoes, call them what you will, but seeing them in the shops heralds the start of summer days. Forget those winter vege, it’s time for simple but perfect meals of buttery new potatoes, perfectly barbequed lamb chops or steak and lots of gorgeous springs greens.
In New Zealand we’re awesome at eating our kai seasonally and this has many bonuses. Due to their abundance, in-season fruit and vege are often cheaper, and it’s likely they’re healthier for us as well as they’re often fresher which means more nutrients are retained than produce transported from overseas. Eating with the changing seasons also connects us to our whenua (land) and ensures we have an array of fruits and veges in our diet perfectly appropriate for that time of year – watermelon in summer, pumpkin soup in winter and new potatoes in spring.
Even with the range of trendy new grains available and the not-so-new fad of low-carb eating, it’s going to take a lot to knock the potato off its perch as the king-pin of carbs. Contrary to what you may have heard, potatoes are a good carb, they release energy slowly over time, more so if eaten cold (now there’s a reason to make a potato salad). Leaving the skin on adds much needed fibre, they’re bursting with Vitamin C and of course there’s the potassium and B-vitamins. Need we say more!
Potatoes New Zealand recently shared this season’s line-up of new spuds which will have you reaching for the butter and herbs:
Gourmandine – yellow flesh potato with a smooth waxy skin that has a unique nut-like flavour, best suited to boiling and stewing as they retain their shape.
Little Diggers – a waxy potato beautiful in summery potato salads or simply tossed with a little extra virgin olive oil or butter, garlic and mint.
Golden Gourmets – an all-purpose, delicious, buttery golden potato to roast, boil or mash
Perlas – available from September to March these babies have a delicate fine skin and a smooth waxy texture, perfect for boiling and their size makes them great for kebabs and salads
Sunlite – no kidding, it’s a low-carb spud, 25% less carbohydrate than standard potatoes no less and it still aces the taste test. It’s great for diabetics or those watching their carb intake.
Some might say the perfect accompaniment for new potatoes is mint, dill or parsley. Call us biased, but we reckon they’re ka pai with our very own New Zealand beef & lamb. Get the BBQ fired up and check out these scrummy recipes:
For more recipes with meat and potatoes check out Kathy Paterson’s stunning new book Meat & Three.
New Potato Storage Tips
Do not store new potatoes in a plastic bag
Don’t leave them in a hot car
Store in a dark, dry, cool place
Handle them carefully – they do bruise
Cut off any green bits