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Spud Sunday: Early Days

Grilled Potato Skewers

Grilled potato skewers

This is just one of the recipes that we made at our Ballyknocken Cookery School [1] session with Catherine Fulvio [2]. At its heart, this is just a simple idea: baby potatoes – marinated first in a mix of oregano, paprika, lemon juice and rapeseed oil – then threaded onto skewers with peppers and shallots, chargrilled and finished with a chive, dill and pinenut dressing.

Everything about this is flexible: change the herbs and spices in the marinade or dressing according to what you have and like; vary the mix of vegetables on the skewer and/or add some strips of chicken. Even as we were making this at our cookery class, we were encouraged to forage about in the kitchen garden at Ballyknocken and select from the herbs or vegetables we found there, and I suspect that no dish made that day was done entirely according to the recipe, which is cooking as it should be.

The Summary:

  • Makes around 8 skewers & takes approx. 1 hour to prep + 5 minutes to grill

For the skewers:

  • approx. 24 baby potatoes, such as Maris Peer (or use 4 or so larger, waxy potatoes)
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into approx 2cm pieces
  • 8 small shallots, peeled and cut in half

For the marinade:

  • 3 tblsp rapeseed oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika

For the chive dressing:

  • 60 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 tblsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tblsp chives, chopped
  • 1 tblsp dill, chopped
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • chargrilled lemon slices (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • 8 wooden skewers plus a food processor or blender for blending the chive oil

The Steps:

  • Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for at least one hour.
  • Wash the potatoes and, leaving them unpeeled, steam until just tender (10 minutes or so, depending on size, larger potatoes will (obviously) need longer). If using larger potatoes, cut into approx. 2cm chunks once cooked.
  • Whisk together the rapeseed oil, lemon juice, oregano and paprika for the marinade. Pour half of the marinade over the still-warm potatoes and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  • Using a food processor or blender, blend together the rapeseed oil, toasted pine nuts, chives and dill for the chive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste and set aside.
  • Preheat your BBQ or outdoor grill if using. Alternatively, preheat a chargrill pan on your stovetop or cook under the grill element of your oven or simply roast in a hot oven (preheated to 200C).
  • Thread the potatoes, red peppers and shallots onto the skewers and brush with the remainder of your marinade.
  • Chargrill the skewers on your BBQ, grill pan or indoor grill for 3-4 minutes or until cooked and lightly charred. Alternatively, roast in a hot oven for about 5-10 minutes.
  • To serve, spoon over the chive oil and serve with chargrilled lemon slices.

The Variations:

  • You can certainly vary the herbs here according to what you have and like e.g. replace the oregano with rosemary, the dill with fennel, the paprika with some smoked paprika etc. and/or thread some bay leaves onto the skewers; add more or different vegetables to the mix, such as courgettes, perhaps, and Catherine also suggests that you could thread the skewers with thin strips of chicken if that takes your fancy.
R☆51