New York Potato Latkes

From my book How To Grow: a guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet.

If you’re making potato latkes for breakfast, you’re going to have a bloody brilliant day. There is no bigger breakfast treat. This is also the messiest recipe I’ve ever had the pleasure to get all over myself and the kitchen of a morning. It relies on activating your potatoes’ starch, and good lord do they get sticky. Brace yourselves. I first discovered the joy of potato latkes sitting at a counter in a proper New York deli. They made them right there in front of me, on the hot plate. It was love. Or ‘lwuv’ if you want to pronounce it in true New York accent.

Serves 4

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled
  • 1 big onion
  • 25g fine matzoh meal or plain flour
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • A big sprinkle of sea salt
  • A few big cracks of black pepper
  • Olive or vegetable oil, for frying

To serve (optional):

  • Good-quality smoked salmon
  • Homemade horseradish sauce
  • Fresh chives

or

  • Soured Cream
  • Apple sauce

Method

First of all, it’s grating time. Find yourself a large mixing bowl, a sturdy grater and an almost inhuman reserve of energy. Grate all the potatoes and onion on the largest grater setting and mix together in the bowl (I use my hands).

Turn out the grated potato and onion onto a large clean tea towel. Roll it up and squeeze with all your strength to remove as much moisture as you can. The drier the mixture, the better the latkes will turn out.

Drop everything back into the bowl and add the matzoh meal, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands. If it’s getting stuck all over you, it’s going well.

In a deep frying pan, heat the oil until moderately hot. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the pan a little distance apart, pushing down on each one with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten them out. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, flipping when the edges turn from golden to dark brown. If they brown too quickly, knock the heat back or take the pan off the heat for a minute.

Remove the latkes from the pan and set on kitchen paper to drain. Continue cooking until you’ve used up all the mixture, then serve while they’re still piping hot.

Serve with a dollop each of soured cream and apple sauce, or – my personal favourite – a helping of really good-quality smoked salmon, homemade horseradish sauce and a sprinkle of fresh chives.


Salt Baked Beetroot

From my book, How To Grow: a guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet.

As my splendid friend, Ben ‘Yes Chef’ Christopherson said when I ran him through this recipe, ‘I love this, it tastes amazing, and there is the element of “why the hell am I doing this, this can’t possibly be right?”, which all the best recipes should have.’ Wise words, Ben. Wise words.

Serves 2 as a side dish, or 4 as a starter with smoked salmon.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 nice round beetroot
  • 1 box of Maldon Sea Salt (or any good quality salt)
  • 2–3 sprigs of thyme

Method

Preheat your oven to 160C/300F/gas 2.

Rummage around for the smallest ovenproof dish that will fit your beetroot as snuggly as possible. Pour a generous layer of salt into the dish, making a large dimple to rest your beetroot on, and pop him in. Add the thyme on top and around your beetroot, then keep pouring salt until your beetroot is entombed in a salt mountain. Then pop him in the oven for 45–60 minutes.

The beetroot is done when a sharp knife slips in easily. A bit like pasta, the perfect texture of beetroot is down to personal taste. I like it a little firm in the middle, so take it out after 50 minutes. It also depends on the size of your beetroot, so pop him back in for a bit longer if he isn’t quite done.

Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Then dive on in there and rescue your baked beetroot. (I let the salt cool, then keep it in a Kilner jar to use again.) Slice his skin and ends off by running a knife from top to bottom, gently peeling it away. Carefully slice into thin slices, then arrange in an impressive, arty fashion on a plate.

An excellent side dish, or delicious starter served with slithers of smoked salmon, watercress, good olive oil and freshly grated horseradish.


‘Of Land’ Supper Club Coming soon

A supper club in my garden. Down on the Dorset coast.
Drop me a line: contact@hollienewton.com and I’ll email you
when the next one’s on the horizon.


Woman’s Hour Appearance on BBC Radio 4

https://twitter.com/BBCWomansHour/status/852092240801521665

Bloody hell, mum… I’m on Woman’s Hour. Listen to the lovely Hayley Bishop, senior gardener at National Trust Kingston Lacy, and I give gardening advice while trying our best not to die from over-excitement in front of Jane Garvey, live on BBC Radio 4.

You can listen to the podcast here.


Also Festival A talk in a tent

From growing your first wonky courgette to completely transforming a shady patio garden, self taught gardener Hollie Newton will be at ALSO to divulge all the secrets she’s discovered over the past few years as she’s journeyed from gardening novice to vegetable-grower-extraordinaire – all from her pint-sized London garden. Focusing on small and urban spaces, Hollie will offer practical advice for a whole new generation of gardeners.

Date: Saturday 30th June 2017

Full Also Festival line up here.


Saturday Live Appearance on BBC Radio 4

Chatting about my book, ‘How To Grow: a guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet” with the Reverend Richard Coles, Aasmah Mir… and Jimmy Flippin’ Osmond. Broadcasting live to 6 million people on a Saturday morning. The things that happen in life.

You can download and listen to the programme here.


Stratford Literary Festival: Gardening For The Soul with Alys Fowler, Alan Jenkins, and me

It’s been proven that weeding and propagating is good for our physical health, but how can we make it work for our well-being? Alys Fowler who writes the gardening column for Guardian Weekend, Allan Jenkins who is editor of Observer Food Monthly, and Hollie Newton, advertising industry award winner who turned to a window box to escape the pressures of her job, talk about how they came to gardening and how we can make soil nurture the soul.

Date: Monday 24th April 2017

Book your ticket here.


How To Academy a lecture at Condé Nast

A talk with gardener and author Hollie Newton, for people who want to learn how to grow things and have no idea how.

Date: Wednesday 5th April 2017, 6.45pm – 8.00pm.
Where: Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design

Book your ticket here.