It was the perfect day to visit my new allotment patch. A friend has handed me over ownership of half their allotment and I am so excited about it. I am a complete novice when it comes to growing my own. My experience stretches to herbs (which only really need a good watering now and then) strawberries and rocket salad.
My patch sits on a slight, south facing hill and gets baked in sunshone from sun-rise to sun-set. It was a perfect day to start cultivating my patch as I felt like I was in the South of France, not North London. The earth was still soft and very manageable due to the amount of rainfall we have had over the winter months. The kids loved it too and dug themselves a couple of deep holes that they filled joyously with big, fat worms and anything else interesting they found nearby or in the earth.
Within a couple of hours I had managed to unearth 2 carrier bags full of the remnants of last season's potatoes, most still intact and edible. I was also given a couple of huge parsnips that had remained growing over the winter months. The parsnip's scent was so wonderful and fresh having come straight from the ground I was intoxicated and I just can't wait to start planting for this year's crop.
This afternoon I'll be making a quick potato salad with the smaller potatoes. I'll give them a good scrub, leaving their skins on (as that's where all the goodness lies). Below is the recipe for the salad with a simple delicious mustardy dressing. Charlotte or salad potatoes are perfect for using in the recipe too.
Potato, egg & pea salad(4-6 servings)
300g salad potatoes, boiled
2 eggs, hard boiled
½ mug of peas, defrosted
1 tsp. English mustard
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. white wine/cider vinegar
A pinch of salt and pepper
1. Begin by boiling the potatoes (10-15 minutes) until cooked through. Allow to cool whilst you hard boil the eggs (8-10 minutes)
2. Place the peas in a bowl and allow to defrost
3. To make the dressing, place the ingredients into a mug and mix together well with a fork
4. Finally slice the eggs and place in a salad bowl with the potatoes & peas and pour the dressing over.
5. Mix well and serve.