Jersey Royal, Watercress and Feta Bread

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.


Category: Blogging Events, Bread, Fish, Memes, Snacks, Starters 16 comments »

16 Responses to “Jersey Royal, Watercress and Feta Bread”

  1. Peter G

    I absolutely love your creativity Helen. This sounds and looks like one fab creation! In regards to Greek basil, I really can’t recall seeing it used in many dishes when I was growing up. Actually, Greek basil has a religious significance for Greeks, but good on you for throwing it into the mix and playing around with the falvours.

  2. Pixie

    I’m going to have to see if I can get that basil at my local S. The bread sounds wonderful too. :)

  3. Wendy

    Like how gnarly the bread is and adore tapanade. Have never been able to make a batch that I like more than the premade stuff though!
    Interesting memoir. I felt quite uncomfortable doing it too. Why is that?

  4. Lore

    Oh wow! I really enjoyed potato bread as a child but you’re taking it to a whole new level. Fabulous job!

  5. Julia

    Wow, what a fantastic looking bread – and so unusual, I never would have thought of putting these ingredients in a bread! Thanks for entering.

  6. Lisa

    I love feta!! I’m drooling over this bread. A must try.

  7. Kevin

    That tapenade looks so good spread all over that bread. I have never seen Greek basil before. I have only tired regula and Thai basil.

  8. Sophie

    Gorgeous! Love the idea of the tapenade with it (it doesn’t really suit a slice of cheese on top as there is already some in there).

    I’ve made both the potato and parsnip versions of delia’s orignial recipe and they always turn out great (even if you are a baking disaster like me!). Shame she’s doing all that ready made stuff now when she can come up with equally quick and simple ‘from scratch’ recipes

  9. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Hi Helen,
    I’ve never been tagged before, thank you! (I’m such a geek to be excited about it!). Also, I’ve never tried Greek Basil, but you’ve got me salivating for it now… x

  10. Helen

    Peter G – Thank you! I had no idea that Greek basil has a religious significance. Google didn’t turn up much at all really.
    Pixie – The S I love near to is quite big so you might have some luck at the larger stores.
    Wendy – Loving the description of the bread as ‘gnarly’! It is isn’t it? The memoir thing is weird, I don’t know. I just feel a bit weird thinking of words to describe myself without sounding sentimental!
    Lore – Thanks!
    Julia – thanks, I’m really loking forward to the round up.
    Lisa – feta is awesome. The bread would also be great with goat’s cheese.
    Kevin – Me too! Until now of course…
    Sophie – I totally agree with you about Delia as some of her old recipes are really great as you know. The new series is definitely not for cooks like us but for people who want to take one step away from takeaway food.
    Christie – That’s great that I gave you your first tag! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  11. Niamh

    Wpow – great looking bread. I love greek basil, it’s so potent. I must try this. Thanks!

  12. Serena

    Hi! how weird I discovered Greek Basil last weekend too (they also sell it in Waitrose). I was hoping it might fare better in my kitchen than the regular stuff – still looking healthy 1 week on! That bread looks yummy though, I’m just so lazy when it comes to bread making… !

  13. ossi

    I am Greek and I never noticed our spiritual connectrion to basil :-) however, a nice enough recipe that I will have to try out soon.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  14. kittie

    That is one fantastic looking loaf!
    Great flavours – I think it must go so well with the tapenade :)

  15. glutenfreeforgood

    I found your site while wandering through Rambling Spoon and I’m glad I did. Great ideas, great recipes, great photos. Very creative.

    I just copied your “Black Olive Tampenade” recipe, which made my mouth water just transferring it to my computer. I love capers, olives, and anchovies — so your recipe was a nice discovery. Lots of ways to use this! Hmmm, where do I start?

    Thank you so much! And I’ll be back…


  16. Bellini Valli

    This is an amazing bread Helen:D

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