Second Early Potatoes - In Season


The first new potatoes are always a joy but, long after the first earlies have had their moment, other varieties are coming on stream. Since potatoes are available all year, it’s easy to forget that they all have a new season and in late summer that means the second earlies - especially Queens, in all their variations: Dublin Queens, Rush Queens or just plain Queens...they’re all ‘British Queens’ going local. 

And they’re all equally delicious, although the popularity of foods like rice and pasta means we’re not eating them as often as we used to - hence the EU funded campaign run by Bord Bia Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side (, which supports Irish (and British) growers and aims to educate us about our ‘national vegetable’.

Keoghs QueensThe promotional campaign is focusing on younger consumers and is highlighting health and nutritional benefits plus the fact that potatoes offer enormous potential ‘within the world of modern cooking’.

TV nutritional expert and dietitian, Aoife Hearne, an ambassador for the campaign comments: "When it comes to trying to eat healthily, being organised and prepared is half the battle, particularly when people are time-poor and looking for a convenient fix in an evening meal. I'd advise people to cook ahead, preparing meals at the weekend that can last into the week for lunch or dinner. Having labour saving kitchen equipment such as microwaves, slow cookers and air fryers can speed up and simplify meals too.

Potatoes are great for this and are a very important source of carbohydrates, which are essential for our bodies and particularly for brain function. Potatoes are naturally fat and gluten free, a great source of fibre, Vitamin C and a variety of B vitamins. They also contain three times more potassium than bananas.”

A dedicated website provides masses of information, including details of the main varieties grown in Ireland and their season/availability ( and wide range of recipes.

COD & POTATO CAKES WITH MELTED CHEDDAR CENTREThis easy recipe for COD & POTATO CAKES WITH MELTED CHEDDAR CENTRE calls for a floury potato, so the second early Queens (in season July and August) would be a good choice, and it has particularly good flavour. Roosters - the great all-rounder - are also coming into season from this month. The recipes on give a lot of information including a per serving breakdown of energy (calories), fats, sugars, salt etc - as well as the all important preparation and cooking time.

Serves 2:


150g floury potatoes, such as Roosters, peeled and cubed
20g frozen peas
8oz cod, skinned and roughly chopped
1 tsp chopped parsley
40g full fat hard cheese, (such as cheddar), cut into 4 cubes
2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
1 egg beaten
20g plain flour
20g coarse breadcrumbs
Place the potatoes into a pan of cold water, salt lightly and bring to the boil; cook for about 7-8 minutes or until tender.
In a microwavable bowl, cover the chopped cod and peas with cling film, cook for 3 minutes and drain.
In a mixing bowl lightly mix the potato, cod, peas and parsley, season with a little salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture into 4 balls.
Take a ball in the palm of your hand and press a cube of cheese into the centre. Form back into a ball trying to keep the cheese in the centre and encased in the potato. Flatten out into a fishcake shape. Ideally chill for 20 minutes.
Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Cover the fishcakes in the flour, roll in the egg and toss in the breadcrumbs. Pat gently and reshape if needed.
Fry the fishcakes in the sunflower oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, turning every so often. Serve with a crisp side salad or your favourite vegetables.

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