Rosy Red Roots

Quite a while ago I planted some oca, and I recently harvested the tubers (technically probably stem rather than root tubers but I love alliteration).

From 5 plants I got a disappointingly small amount of roots – enough for 2 as a side for one meal. I waited until the tops had frosted and died down as instructed, but a lot of the resultant tubers were very tiny. However these same plants were nibbled quite extensively by a deer. I later harvested a single plant that had been protected, which gave as many as the first 5 combined.

They came out of the ground quite easily, sadly cheating me of the treasure hunt you often get with potatoes. I washed them thoroughly and roasted whole at around 180°C (fan) for 25 – 30 minutes – I think they could have stood a bit longer.

Alas they lost their crimson brilliance – turning a dull beige pink. Sites had talked about their lemony flavour and I was sceptical, however it turned out to be true! My best stab at describing would be a new potato meets Jerusalem artichoke texture, with a clean citrus flavour note. Very pleasant indeed – I think I just need to grow a lot more next time and keep them well netted!

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