I’m delighted to see several of our suppliers on the shortlist. Katy Rodgers, the Erringtons at Lanark Blue and Denise and Chris Walton at Peelham Farm are all in the running. These businesses are among our smallest and this is a forum for them to be champions in Scotland’s big food league.
Small suppliers are the heart and soul of our food system. They embody good practice, artisan skills, animal welfare and biodiversity. They hand skills from one generation to the next, create jobs in rural communities and give restaurateurs and customers amazing produce to enjoy.
We have to value their real worth. We are told food inflation is at the lowest ever level, but this is looking at it the wrong way. The real cost of producing good, clean, fair food is much higher than the statistics show. In the grand cooking pot of imports, discounts and subsidies, food may be cheaper in supermarkets, but when you speak to the people on the ground you start to realise how hard it is to stay competitive, invest for the next generation and earn a living. So buy local and champion our food network.
- Only salt the water when you are boiling the dumplings. That’s a wee tip from a great cook, Nonna Olivia!
1 Boil the potatoes in unsalted water until tender, drain well and
then transfer back into the pot. Cover with a clean tea towel and
place the lid on top. The tea towel will absorb any steam and help the
potatoes to dry.
2 Mash the potatoes in the pot until light and fluffy.
3 The next stage can be messy. The potatoes should still be warm, so
be warned they can burn your hands. Add the flour into the pot, mix,
then empty the contents onto a clean floured surface and work quickly
to keep the mixture as light as possible. Gently knead until
incorporated into a light dough.
4 Roll out the mixture to a thickness of about 1cm. Cut into 2.5cm
strips and gently roll these into long, smooth sausage shapes. Cut
into small cubes using a sharp knife. Press the back of a fork on top
of each cube and quickly move the fork back to make the dumplings
curl. This takes a little practice and time but it’s worth it. Place
the gnocchi on a sheet of baking parchment. There is no need to flour
5 Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt to taste. Lift
the paper and dunk it straight into the boiling water. The gnocchi
will slip off easily so simply remove the paper and place a lid on the
6 Bring the water back to the boil and cook for a minute or two.
7 Drain and transfer back into the pot. Generously spoon the hot sugo
or asparagus and Scottish cheese sauce (see recipes below) onto the
gnocchi. Serve immediately.