This post includes a review of a gifted product.
Since the fateful Sunday as a child when I ate 12 roast potatoes in one sitting (more than my age at the time) I have been a huge fan of crisp roasties, both with roast dinners and other meals too. The only problem is that it does take a bit of time and care to get them just right. That’s fine at the weekend, but to satisfy my midweek cravings I need something a bit speedier and easier. Enter the mini roast potato.
These little bits of potato-heaven are quicker and easier to make, with no need to parboil them first, and a faster cooking time thanks to the small size of the pieces. Plus, more mini potatoes means more crispy surface area, and that is perfect for adding lots of flavourings. My favourite combination has long been rosemary and garlic, with a light seasoning of salt and pepper, though Italian herbs, harissa and many other spice combinations make frequent appearances on my plate. So, when I was sent a jar of premium SaltPans Flor de Sal salt with piri-piri to try, I knew straight away where it was heading.
SaltPans is a UK based company who import the traditionally harvested Flor de Sal from Portugal, and mix the flakes of salt with other ingredients to create flavours like the piri-piri one I’m lucky enough to be sampling! The Flor de Sal flakes form on the surface of traditional salt pans in the summer in Portugal, and it’s traditionally used as a finishing salt, added to food last thing before serving.
In the spirit of the Portugese tradition, I decided to sprinkle the delicate flakes over my mini roast potatoes after cooking as a final seasoning, and the result was very tasty! The salt both seasons the potatoes and adds a little hint of flavour at the same time from the piri-piri, which gives a perfect finish to a mini roastie! Personally, I like the slightly course size of the salt flakes and the occasional hit of flavour you get from them, but if you prefer, you can easily bash up a few flakes in a pestle and mortar before sprinkling over potatoes (or wedges or chips!), for a finer consistency.
The piri-piri is also a really nice addition. It’s there in the background, but is not overpowering or overly hot, which is perfect for this salt. The last thing you want to do is drown out all of the other flavours when seasoning your potatoes, and this subtle flavour is definitely the way to go. I’m really impressed with the quality and flavour of this salt, and will definitely be adding it to my mini roasties, wedges and chips in future! It’s a great alternative to plain salt and adds some extra interest to your plate.
You can order SaltPans Flor de Sal here.
Recipe: Mini Roast Potatoes with Herbs, Garlic & Flor de Sal with Piri-piri
Serves 2-3, cooking time 35 mins
3 large or 4-5 medium sized potatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed slightly with the flat edge of a knife
Handful fresh herbs (woody ones like rosemary and thyme work best) or 2 tsp dried herbs
1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
Generous pinch of Flor de Sal with piri-piri
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Peel and cut the potatoes into 3cm pieces, place in a jug of cold water to keep them from turning brown.
Add the oil, herbs and garlic to a roasting tray large enough for the potatoes to fit comfortably with space around them.
Place the tray in the oven for around 1 minute for the oil to heat up.
Remove from the oven, drain and add the potatoes. Give the tray a good shake to coat the pieces of potato in oil, and add a quick twist of black pepper.
Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes become golden brown.
Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the Flor de Sal. Serve immediately, and enjoy!