Potatoes, wonderful potatoes! No wonder the Spanish often refer to potatoes as "apples of love".
Lovely things they are and very healthy, too. Not that "good for you" ever rates higher than "nice to eat" in my books.
But, to salve your conscience when you reach for the umpteenth crispy roast potato, potatoes contain numerous vitamins, proteins, minerals and more potassium than a banana!
It also contains two and a half times fewer carbohydrates than the same weight in bread.
I like potatoes in all shapes and sizes and cooked in almost any way.
An unusual starter (or even a light main course) is to fry or roast potato skins and to serve them with a garlic rich aioli sauce.
And it is so easy. To serve 4-6 portions you'll need:
For the potato skins
6 medium potatoes
Oil for deep frying
For the aioli dip
Cooked pulp of 2 medium potatoes
10 cloves of garlic finely crushed
250ml olive oil
1 egg yolk
Juice of one lemon
Salt and black pepper
For the dip
Spoon the potato pulp, garlic and half the oil in a blender and blitz until smooth.
Add egg yolk, then slowly dribble in the rest of the oil and the lemon juice.
If the sauce is too thick add about two teaspoons of warm water.
Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper.
For the potatoes
Pierce the skins with a fork and bake in a 180 degrees Celsius oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or microwave for eight minutes and leave to stand for four minutes.
Halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh, leaving about ½ inch of shell.
Keep the pulp of four potato halves for the sauce.
Slice each half into three wedges.
Heat oil in a deep pan and fry until crisp.
Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve immediately with the sauce.
Nice with a crisp green leaf salad.
Serve sauce in a dip bowl surrounded by the crispy skins.