Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with new potatoes.

Melanie says: ‘Unearthing new potatoes is like digging for treasure and I never tire of the sight of the season’s first creamy jewels on my garden fork. Although my recipes offer ideas on how to spruce up your spuds, sometimes simplicity is best and it’s difficult to better the delight of a knob of butter melting over a bowl of steaming, golden potatoes–utterly irresistible!’

Salsa verde tuna with buttered new potatoes (serves 4)

Ingredients
4 fresh tuna steaks
A good splash of olive oil
Seasoning
6 anchovy fillets
2tbspn capers
1 gherkin
1tspn Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 lemon, zest and juice of
A handful flat-leaf parsley
A handful basil
3tbspn olive oil
Seasoning
500g new potatoes
A big knob of butter
400g vine tomatoes

Method
Put the tuna steaks into a freezer bag and add the olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning before leaving them to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours, removing them 10 minutes before they need to be cooked.

Drizzle olive oil over the vine tomatoes—don’t salt them or they’ll leach water—and cook in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, until they just start to burst. Meanwhile, boil the new potatoes in a large pan of salted water until tender, usually about 15 minutes if halved, and, once drained, add a generous knob of butter.

For the salsa verde, crush together the anchovy fillets, garlic and capers using a pestle and mortar and then add the herbs and gherkin, finely chopped, before mixing in the lemon zest and juice, mustard, olive oil and seasoning. Add more olive oil if needed.

Place the tuna steaks on a large pre-heated griddle pan and cook until they’re brown on all sides, but remain pink in the middle. This will only take a few minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your steaks.

Divide the tuna steaks between four plates and sprinkle the salsa verde generously over them. Add a vine of tomatoes to each for decoration and serve with the new potatoes on the side.

More ways with new potatoes

cooking with new potatoesTamarind potato curry
Toss 500g halved new potatoes in olive oil, scatter sea salt over them and roast in a moderate oven until tender (for about 25 minutes depending on size). While the potatoes are roasting, heat a splash of neutral oil in a large pan and add a tablespoon of mustard seeds, a handful of curry leaves, 2 chopped onions, a few crushed cloves of garlic, a good grating of ginger, 2 tins of tomatoes and 2 empty tomato tins of chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes before stirring in 400ml coconut milk and a tablespoon of tamarind paste. Add the roasted new potatoes with a scattering of fresh herbs and serve with basmati rice or, if preferred, roasted meat.

Not-just-any potato salad
Drain 500g boiled new potatoes and add 4 sliced gherkins, 3 chopped spring onions, a handful of cooked soya beans and 4 halved boiled eggs. For the dressing, combine 400ml Greek yoghurt, the juice of a lemon, a teaspoon Dijon mustard and seasoning, then gently mix everything together and serve.

** Read more fantastic seasonal spring recipes