Many of us celebrate the arrival of new potatoes in the humblest manner – simply boiled and tossed with a knob of butter, and it is one of the greatest ways to eat them. But I also find that new potatoes pan-fry extremely well. As a Frenchman I must throw in a classic persillade at the last minute. At its heart this is garlic, shallots and parsley, to which you can add other herbs if you like – I suggest chervil and tarragon.
For the potatoes
- 300 g Jersey Royal or other new potatoes, halved
- 600 ml water
For the persillade
- 30 g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 g chervil, chopped
- 4 tarragon leaves, chopped
- ½ banana shallot, finely chopped (see Note)
- 1 garlic clove, puréed
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 100 g smoked bacon lardons
- 20 g unsalted butter
- pinch sea salt
- 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the potatoes, in a large saucepan on a high heat, simmer the potatoes in the water for 5 minutes (see Note), then drain in a colander and leave to stand for 1 minute so the steam can escape. Reserve.
For the persillade, simply mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
To finish, in a large frying pan over a high heat, heat the oil and colour the bacon lardons, then add the cooked potatoes, then the butter. Season with the salt and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every minute, until golden brown. Spoon out any fat from the pan and stir in the persillade. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.
• Although you can sauté the potatoes from raw, I prefer to blanch them first as they have a high starch content, which will convert into sugar and cause them to brown too fast. By blanching them you are neutralising the starches, which will give the potato a better texture and colour.
• A banana shallot is like a cross between an between a regular shallot and an onion. You can substitute regular shallot.