Potatoes at the Chelsea Flower Show




(V) indicates vegetarian recipes, and (VV) indicates vegan recipes. Some of the recipes are for side dishes; others make a main course in themselves.


Potato dishes






Sweet potatoes







Heaven is represented by the apples; earth by the potatoes. Good with sausages.

400-500gr apples, not too sweet or tasteless (coxes or granny Smiths rather than golden delicious)

400-500gr potatoes, preferably waxy (i.e new or “salad” potatoes)

1 tablespoon white sugar

1-2 onions, peeled & sliced

1-2 teaspoons cider vinegar

250gr streaky bacon, diced

salt, pepper, light cooking oil (e.g. sunflower) or pork or goose fat

Peel, core & slice the apples. Peel & slice the potatoes. Put together in a saucepan with the sugar, salt, pepper & 4-500ml water. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes uncovered, until potatoes are soft and the water has almost evaporated.  Meanwhile, brown the onion and bacon in the oil or fat. Mix everything together with salt, pepper & vinegar, & serve.




400gr cold cooked potatoes

300-400gr cooked cabbage or spinach, roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 cm ginger root, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2-3 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil (or goose fat), salt, pepper

Roughly mash the potatoes.  Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onion and cook stirring until the onion is slightly softened. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook for a further minute or two. Add the potato, cabbage or spinach, salt and pepper, and mix in carefully. Fry gently for 5-10 minutes, then reverse onto a plate and slide back into the pan so as to cook the other side, or place under a grill until it is nice and crunchy on top.     




A good accompaniment to grilled or roast meats.

200-300gr new or waxy potatoes (eg charlotte), peeled

12 pitted black olives, cut in half

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 small shallots, peeled and chopped finely

thyme, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper

Cut the potatoes into 1 cm cubes. Fry gently in olive oil in a small saucepan with the shallots and garlic, for about 10 minutes or until golden. Add the olives, some chopped parsley and thyme, together with salt and pepper to taste and a little water. Cover the pan and cook until the potato is soft (about 20 minutes), adding a little more water if it becomes too dry.   




This differs from the classic tapa patatas bravas, in that the potatoes are cooked with the flavourings rather than flavoursome sauce being added to fried potatoes.

300gr new or waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces

½ a small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

¼ tsp smoked paprika

1 pinch saffron

½ tsp tomato paste

1 bay-leaf

chicken or vegetable stock

olive oil, salt, pepper

Gently cook the onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft but not coloured. Stir in the paprika and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, saffron, tomato paste, bay-leaf, salt, pepper and just enough stock to cover the potatoes. Cook fairly gently for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked and the liquid has almost disappeared. 




Tartiflette is supposed to be a traditional recipe from the Savoie. Some claim, however, that it was invented in the 1980s by an organisation marketing reblochon cheese. This version differs from the normal tartiflette which uses boiled potatoes and onions. Good for a light meal, served with salad.  

500gr new or waxy potatoes, scraped (if they are new) or peeled

120 gr reblochon or taleggio cheese

2 rashers streaky bacon, derinded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme (preferably fresh)

Slice the potatoes into rounds the thickness of a pound coin (2mm). Heat some olive oil in a small frying-pan and cook the bacon briefly. Add the potatoes, garlic, a generous amount of thyme, salt and pepper. Put a lid on the pan and cook gently for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, stirring once or twice. Cut off any hard bits of rind from the cheese and cut it into rough slices. Spread the slices out over the top of the potatoes in the pan, replace the lid and cook for a couple more minutes or until the cheese is melting.


Chips by Michael Craig-Martin



This is loosely based on a classic Swedish and Finnish dish called Jansson’s temptation, which uses pickled sprats rather than anchovies. Who Jansson was is not clear. The best story is that he was a religious fanatic who was tempted by this dish to renounce his vow to give up all worldly pleasures. But it is also claimed that the dish was named after a 1928 Swedish film of that name, or else after a 19th century opera singer called Pelle Janzon. 

6 small new or waxy potatoes

2 small to medium onions or two medium leeks (or a mixture)

30gr anchovy fillets, chopped

120-150ml single cream

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped

butter, pepper

Peel and cook the potatoes in boiling water. Drain and cut into thickish slices. Peel and slice the onions and/or clean the leeks and cut the white part into 2-3 cm/1 in rounds. Soften in a little butter, without letting them colour, adding the chopped garlic and the anchovies for a minute or so at the end. Mix the onion/leek/anchovy mixture and potatoes together in a small buttered baking dish, adding a generous amount of pepper. Pour the cream over the top. Cook for about 30 minutes in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 5/190°.    




100-200gr fresh young cèpes, wiped and thickly sliced

3-4 new or small waxy (salad) potatoes (eg charlottes), peeled and thickly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

olive oil, chopped, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes and peel.  Cook the sliced potatoes, cèpes, chopped parsley and garlic briskly in a generous amount of olive oil, stirring, until cèpes are lightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

                                                          CÈPE GROWING NEAR EXMOOR                                                             



This robust rural dish needs a strong-tasting bacon. Olive oil can be used instead of goose-fat, but the dish would no longer be recognisable to an inhabitant of the Auvergne.

400gr potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 good tablespoon goose-fat

100gr chopped streaky bacon or pancetta or lardons

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

chopped parsley, salt, pepper

Melt the goose fat in a frying pan and add the potatoes, stirring to coat with the fat. Cover the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the bacon, pepper and a little salt (unless the bacon is very salty). Continue cooking gently, covered, for at least another 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Five minutes before the end, stir in the chopped parsley and garlic.






Carrots in Tunisia



2-6 carrots (depending on size), peeled and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon caster sugar

1 pinch chilli powder

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

salt and pepper

Fry the cumin and mustard seeds in the olive oil for a few moments  (but not too fiercely or the oil will burn). Add all the other ingredients except the lemon juice, and just cover with water. Cook fairly fiercely until the water is evaporated and the carrots are done. Stir in the lemon juice and a little extra olive oil and serve. It can also be served cold as a salad.







The combination of flavours is a particularly happy one. The dish is best warm, but can also be served hot or cold. It goes well with grilled or cold meats, but in half quantities also does for a vegetarian first course (its colours are quite decorative).

1-2 parsnips (250-300gr), peeled

12 or so cherry tomatoes,

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon capers, chopped if they are large

1 teaspoon wine vinegar

1 teaspoon French mustard

salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme or origano.

Cut the parsnips into bite-sized pieces, boil in salted water until soft (about 10 minutes) and drain. Fry them in some olive oil until they are beginning to go brown. In the meantime, skin the tomatoes after loosening the skins by putting them for 10-15 seconds in water that has just boiled. Soften the onion slightly in some olive oil to which some thyme or origano (fresh or dried) has been added. Mix parsnips, tomatoes and onions together in a serving dish. If it is to be eaten hot, pop into a pre-heated hottish oven for 5-10 minutes. Dress with a vinaigrette made from the mustard, capers, vinegar and a tablespoon of olive oil.




100 gr quinoa

50-70 gr watercress (a small bunch)

1-2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

1 tablespoon butter

½  teaspoon ground cumin

½  teaspoon paprika

1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

olive oil, salt, pepper


Melt the butter in a small frying-pan. Add the spices and then the parsnip, salt and pepper. Fry gently for about 10 minutes or until until soft and lightly browned. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes (or as per the instructions on the packet) with 150-200ml water or stock and drain off any surplus liquid. Liquidise the watercress and garlic with 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix into the cooked quinoa. Distribute the quinoa and parsnips onto two plates..










200-250gr spinach, cooked, water squeezed out, and roughly chopped

200-300gr sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

200ml (half a can) coconut milk (or half a sachet of coconut cream mixed with 200ml water)

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

a small half teaspoon turmeric

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or more to taste)

salt, cooking oil


Soften the onion in some oil in a small frying-pan without letting it burn. Add the curry powder, turmeric and chopped chilli. Cook for a few minutes more. Add the sweet potato, coconut milk and salt. Simmer briskly until the sweet potatoes are soft and the coconut milk is reduced to a creamy sauce (about 20 minutes), stirring to avoid it burning. Add the cooked spinach, heat through and serve.



Girl chopping onions (detail), by Gerrit Dou, 1646