NOTE: The pictures were updated, October 2015.
This post is dedicated to my husband and my mother.
My husband was born and raised in the Andes, the official birthplace of the potato. It is this fact that I think explains his utter and complete love - no actually let’s call a spade a spade - obsession for this root vegetable. So, when I want to make him really happy, I prepare a potato dish for him. It always does the trick. I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve, but this Baked Potatoes with Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce is probably his current favourite and I like it a lot too, so I make it at least 2 times a month, perhaps even more often in winter time. It’s SO simple and really quick and utterly yummy!
I know that lots of potatoes have specific roles they fulfil like being the ideal salad potato, baking potato or mashed potato, but to be honest I’m not fussy when it comes to which potato I use for this recipe. It’s not an exact science and more about what you fancy. I’ve actually tried this specific recipe with a number of different varieties and it’s always been a winner. Having said that I do prefer using the slightly smaller ones like Anya or Vivaldi because they are ready in no time and have more skin/flavour, but it’s totally up to you which potato you choose.
To lift this recipe into a different stratosphere though, it might be worth going to a local, lovely farmers’ market and getting something not normally available at your supermarket. Have a chat with the potato farmer and see which potato s/he recommends. I bet you if you do that your partner will appreciate this dish as much as mine!
As for the sauce, it’s my mother’s recipe. As time goes on you're likely to find lots of my mother’s stuff on this blog, which is quite interesting seeing she is very happy being a carnivore and is rather amused by my plant-based ways. It’s lovely though that we can find recipes we both love and this is one of them! My mother makes this sauce as an accompaniment to fish, but – dare I say it – I think it really comes into its own here, where it’s not pushed into the background by fish’s dominant flavour. But of course I’d think that, wouldn’t I ;)?
UPDATED! BAKED POTATOES WITH RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SAUCE (V+) (NF) (GF) (ChF) (GrF)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 boiling + 45 minutes roasting
1kg potatoes, washed and halved if you’re going for the smaller variety, quartered if you choose the bigger ones. Please keep the skin on, just remove the very rough bits with a potato peeler.
1 head of (organic) garlic, cloves separated, skin on
1 tbsp dried rosemary
Rice bran oil
Salt (I use Pink Himalaya Salt)
Pre-heat the oven to 220C, 200C (fan oven) or 325F
Place the potatoes in a pot with cold water and ½ teaspoon of salt and boil for 10-15 minutes until you can just about poke a fork through. Don’t boil completely!
Drain and return to the pot. Cover and shake them until they are fluffy.
Place the garlic cloves in a baking tray (I used a glass one) and pour about 2-3 tbsp of rice bran oil over them. Place in the oven for 5 minutes.
Remove the tray with the garlic from the oven, add the boiled potatoes, use a spoon to cover the potatoes with the oil in the baking tray, add another 2-3 tbsp if need be. Add a sprinkle of salt and pop back into the oven for around 45 minutes.
Do keep a close eye on the potatoes and stir around after 30 minutes to make sure all sides are evenly roasted. Remove after 45 minutes and/or when the potatoes are golden.
Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 large white (organic) onion
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
2 large tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
1 can of tomatoes (400g)
1 vegetable stock cube
Handful of fresh parsley
Chop the onions, garlic, peppers, parsley and tomatoes.
In a large frying pan, put about 2 tbsp of olive oil, heat slightly and then add the onion, garlic and peppers. Then add the chopped tomatoes. Fry until soft and translucent. Then add the canned tomato, vegetable stock cube, parsley, tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Add some water (around 100ml) and cook and stir on a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes. Taste the sauce after about 10 minutes! If it reduces too much and too quickly, add a little bit more water and slightly reduce the heat and cook for the remaining 5 minutes.
Then, place the sauce in a blender (I’ve got a Vitamix, but any blender will do) and mix for a minute or so. This will allow the sauce to become nice and creamy and smooth.
Tip 1: This recipe yields quite a lot of sauce for the amount of potatoes. But there is method behind the madness! FREEZE the surplus sauce for next time or use it as a pasta sauce the next day. The sky’s the limit.
Tip 2: Enjoy these with an exotic salad or some yummy veggies. Meal complete!
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Take care and thanks for reading.