This is an entry for ‘In the Bag – Cooking the Month of April‘ hosted by Julia at A Slice of Cherry Pie. When I saw this month’s ingredients I was excited, firstly because the flavour and waxy texture of Jersey Royals is so fantastic and secondly because I can never seem to get enough watercress. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to get to a market so I had to opt for being ripped off by the supermarket for a well-travelled, disturbingly-perishable bag of watercress. I did pick up some very cute baby Jersey Royals though, which made up for the disappointment.
I’ve made potato bread before using this recipe so I decided to follow the basic structure and just play around with the ingredients as necessary. Firstly, I must say that this loaf is moist – at first I thought too moist, even sticky. The next day however, it dries out a bit to a respectable bread-like texture. Problem is, you obviously need to eat it warm from the oven otherwise what is the point in baking bread at all? I’m just warning you that’s all. We actually enjoyed the gooey texture. It’s definitely comfort food.
Now, on the back of my derogatory supermarket comment, I did make a surprising discovery a couple of days ago – Greek basil in the herb section. I’ve never come across Greek basil before and I really would not expect to find it in Sainsburys but find it I did and snapped it up pronto. The leaves are very small, like miniature Italian basil leaves but neater and the flavour is very peppery, much more so than it’s common counterpart. It also has a distinctive grassy taste, ‘just like Greek olive oil!’ I screamed (the excitement was all too much…). I chucked a good handful into the bread mix and it perfumed the bread (and our flat) with a wonderful aromatic scent.
I made a simple black olive tapenade to eat with the bread, a spread which I find to be highly addictive and consequently really bad for my waistline. It’s not the tapenade per se that’s the problem, it’s the large quantity of bread that I spread it on. That’s the problem the BEST THING about food blogging, it’s like your duty (you tell yourself!) to test out these recipes and disseminate. I mean, I HAVE to eat that extra slice, I can’t quite tell if those flavours are right yet…..It gives me an excuse and that is the reason I get up at ridiculous o’clock to exercise 5 times a week…
Jersey Royal, Watercress and Feta Bread (with Greek basil!)
Adapted from this recipe
350g Jersey royals, 2/3 grated, 1/3 chopped into small chunks
200g feta cheese
A generous handful of watercress, chopped
A generous handful of Greek (or regular) basil, roughly torn
350g self-raising flour
6 spring onions, finely sliced
1 heaped teaspoon of fine salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon sugar (I think? I’m not sure if I actually added this…)
Preheat the oven to Gas 5/190C/375F and grease a baking sheet really well.
– Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
– Add the grated and chopped potatoes, spring onions, watercress, basil and crumble in the feta.
– Use a palette knife to blend thoroughly.
– Beat the eggs with the milk and add to the bowl. Bring together to form a loose dough, still using the palette knife.
– Put the mix onto the baking sheet and shape it into a rough loaf. Dust the top lightly with flour.
– Bake, middle shelf for 50-60 minutes until golden brown.
– Cool on a rack before serving.
Black Olive Tapenade
We like our tapenade to be anchovy-heavy so you may want to adjust the quantity if you want less of the fish, more just a seasoning. I also like to make it fairly chunky as you can see, which I think helps to keep the individual flavours.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
8 anchovy fillets, chopped
40 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
Small bunch parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– I really enjoy chopping this by hand but I realise that normal people would probably just chuck it all in the blender. Pulse everything except the oil. Decant into a bowl first, then stir it in.