Do you like green eggs and ham?

Well not exactly green eggs and ham. But how about purple potatoes? And by purple I mean PURPLE potatoes. These are Urenika, they’re becoming more commonly seen in farmers markets, and as additions to cafe and restaurant meals. The larger ones are floury in texture and the smaller ones waxy. The first time I saw them I was in a little cafe in Oamaru, I noticed a small purple addition to my salad and eyed it verysuspiciously.

No one is really sure of the origins, some saying they arrived in New Zealand with the Peruvian whalers (hence the alternative name of Peruperu), Maori recounting they have always been here and that they have been cultivating them for over 1000 years.

They have the same antioxidant properties as blueberries, and are much richer in antioxidants than the ordinary white potato.

Urenika are the most beautiful shade of violet when cooked.

Black and slightly scary looking when they are uncooked, they really look like something that you should not be eating at all. I suspect that the first person that tried one of these did not expect to survive the night. In fact, they are also known as Tutai Kuri, which means err… dog poo, to be polite. Now that I have completely put you off trying them I will assure you that they are in fact quite tasty, and have I mentioned.. they are purple?

Urenika Salad

  • 1/4 cup of gerkins (pickles) finely chopped
  • 3-4 tspns capers
  • 1/4 cup of red onion or green onions finely chopped
  • chives - snipped
  • 1/2 cup of celery chopped
  • 2-3 cups of cooked white new potatoes, chopped
  • 2 -3 cups of cooked Urenika cooled and chopped.
  • 2-3 large tblspns real mayonaise or aoli

Assemble your ingredients and stir together gently. Urenika are best steamed and peeled after steaming, they are almost impossible to peel when they are raw without sacrificing a lot of the flesh. Choose smaller waxy ones for the salad.

The colours are amazing!

Chill in the fridge to let the flavours meld and combine. This is
wonderful served with fresh asparagus and soft boiled free range eggs. If you like, you can hard boil the eggs and include them in the salad.

Salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy - what more could you want.