What links Pink Fir Apple, Remarka, Kestrel and Swift? These curious names are all varieties of potato.
These four are our choices for the Edible Garden at the Botanics this year. We decided on Kestrel because of its good slug resistance, and Remarka – ideal for organic gardeners – because of its good disease resistance. Pink Fir Apple, with its knobbly surface, is utterly delicious, and Swift is a potato that grows well in pots and containers.
Of course, it is not just about growing potatoes but eating them too.
Scottish top chef of the year Neil Forbes, of Cafe St Honoré, was here at the Botanics last week for our Science on a Plate event. The Edible Gardening Project teamed up with Neil for our Plot to Plate cooking demonstrations.
Neil cooked up some delicious treats, including potato dumplings with Mull cheddar, using vegetables stored over the winter and fresh ingredients straight from our polytunnel.
For four portions, use two large potatoes (baked), 250g plain flour, one egg, 100g Isle of Mull cheddar (grated), a handful of garden spinach and purple sprouting broccoli, a handful of chopped fresh herbs (e.g. chives, parsley, tarragon), a few sage leaves, 50ml rapeseed oil, a knob of butter, Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1. Pass the flesh of the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl. Add the flour and egg and season with salt and pepper. Add the herbs with half of the cheese.
2. On a floured surface, roll into a sausage shape and cut into one inch diameter pieces. Squeeze into a dumpling shape then place into a large pan of boiling water. Cook until they float.
3. Remove from the pan and fry in the oil until golden brown. Meanwhile, cook the purple sprouting broccoli and spinach in the water until just cooked. Melt the butter and add with the chopped sage. Mix well.
4. Arrange all on a plate and grate the remaining cheese over the top.