With temperatures soaring, the sun shining and evenings long, light and gloriously warm, it feels like we should be away on holiday. Unfortunately that is not happening for a while yet, so the next best thing is to pretend and one thing that instantly makes it seem real is with fresh, summery food eaten outside. In my opinion, it doesn’t come more convincing than with a Canary Island dish that we fell in love with when we lived on La Palma called ‘Papas arrugadas’ or ‘Wrinkled potatoes’ served with mojo. Mojo comes as rojo (red) or verde (green) sauce, but it is the mojo verde version, a tangy, garlicky, green sauce that is our favourite. The whole thing is often served with fish.
The timing is perfect, because I have started to dig up potatoes. Not this year’s crop of first earlies (I am trying Rocket), which aren’t quite ready because I was a bit late getting them in, but last year’s remnants of Lady Cristl. If you’ve never tried them, Lady Cristl are a wonderful early, waxy potato with a great taste. In fact. I can’t decide whether Lady Christl or Charlotte are my favourite potato, but since it is easy to buy Charlotte in the supermarkets, I usually plump for growing the Lady.
So without further ado I thought that I would share with you the recipe for Papas Arrugadas con Mojo Verde and you can imagine you are somewhere exotic too.
Ingredients for the Papas Arrugadas:
Use a couple of roots of potatoes (the wrinkling process works best with potatoes with a developed skin, so Jersey Royals for instance aren’t good, but a salad potato is ideal). Traditionally the potatoes are boiled in seawater, but since most people don’t have access to this, coarse sea salt added to the water does the trick. Boil the potatoes in a fairly heavy pan in water salted with about 4 tablespoonfuls of coarse sea salt for about 20 minutes (or until tender). Drain the water and briefly return the pan containing the potatoes to the heat to rapidly evaporate the remaining moisture. Shake a little to prevent sticking. This process will produces the wrinkles and the attractive salt crystal patterns on the skins.
Ingredients for the Mojo Verde:
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
A bunch of parsley (I like Italian flat-leaved for this) or a bunch of fresh coriander or mixture of both
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of sugar
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until a smooth green puree is achieved.
Then simply heap the wrinkled potatoes on a plate and serve with the mojo sauce. Delicious!