Belinda Jeffery

Salt Baked Potatoes With Guacamole

These simply-cooked potatoes have become my summer holiday staple as they need little effort to make and taste terrific. We usually round the meal out with a simple green salad and cob or two of sweet corn.

  • Makes 8.

  • 8 medium-sized baking potatoes
  • Sea salt
  • A good-sized dollop of butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • Guacamole

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1-2 small red or green chillies, very finely chopped
  • 4 ripe avocadoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Very finely slivered tomato and red onion, herb sprigs (oregano or mint are really nice)

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line an oven tray with baking paper and set it aside.

Scrub the potatoes well and shake off the excess water; don’t dry them though as they need to be damp. Prick each one a few times with a fine skewer. Pour some sea salt into a shallow bowl and roll each potato firmly in it, so the potato has a light coating of salt. (The salt won’t stick all over, but don’t worry, just pat it on as best you can.) Sit the potatoes in the prepared tray then pop it in the oven and bake them for about an hour or until they’re tender when pierced with a fine skewer.

While the potatoes are baking, start preparing the guacamole. Mix the onion, tomatoes, mint and chillies in a bowl and set it aside.

When the potatoes are ready, take them out of the oven. Using a tea towel to protect your hand, slice a lid off each one and set it aside, then use a teaspoon to carefully scoop out the flesh from the potatoes into a bowl, leaving a shell about 6mm thick. Sit the lids and scooped-out shells back into the tin.

Mash the potato flesh with a big dollop of butter, then stir in the spring onions. Cover the bowl loosely to keep the mixture warm while you finish the guacamole. To do this, halve the avocados, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash it coarsely. Then stir in the tomato mixture along with the lime juice, a dash of Tabasco sauce and some salt. It’s a good idea to taste the guacamole now and adjust the flavours to suit you – I often add a bit more lime and salt.

Stir some of the guacamole into the mashed potato mixture, then pile this back into the potato shells. Leaving the lids off for the time being, return the potatoes to the oven for about 10 minutes to heat through.

When they’re ready, take them out and spoon a bit more guacamole on top, then sprinkle it with the tomato and onion slivers. Sit the lids back on top at a jaunty angle and finish them off with herb sprigs.