Jacket potatoes, the French way — Pommes de terre en robe des champs

Pommes de terre en robe des champs with yogurt sauce

One of the things that I clearly inherited from my father is his love and attachment à la terre, the soil.

And Nature.

It does not come as an accident. He was raised on a farm, and his summers were filled with afternoons spent to work in the fields during hay season.

With them came potatoes which were frequently the main piece of dinner eaten at my grandparents’.

Like des pommes de terre en robe des champs–which literally translates as “potatoes wearing a dress from the fields“–a rustic dish made of potatoes simply boiled with their skin that his family ate with fromage blanc seasoned with chives, shallot, salt and pepper.

I think that he must have eaten too much of this type of food because today, he does not care so much for it.

On the other hand, I do. In fact, I am completely crazy for it and will prepare it whenever I feel like having earthy foods.

You might find interesting to hear that the French have never been known for eating potatoes with the skin. I only learned about that food habit when I traveled to England for the first time at the age of 12 and I ate Jacket potatoes. Needless to say that I fell in love with them right away.


Here in the United States, it’s unfortunately almost impossible to find fromage blanc. On occasions, I manage to find some by Vermont Butter and Cheese, but I don’t like it since it is 0% fat–which is not my cup of tea.

Instead, I like my fromage blanc to be made with full fat milk so that the texture is silky and flavorful. Hence I only eat fromage blanc — and indulge as much as I can — when I travel back to France.


Making the sauce is easy. Instead of fromage blanc (which I also like to combine sometimes with petits suisses), I use Greek yogurt made with whole milk. I add lemon juice, a generous amount of chopped chives, a few spices and shallot and the result is a thick flavorful sauce that accompanies beautifully the potatoes–Lulu more particularly enjoys dipping her potatoes into the sauce. Choose your favorites: potatoes that are dense in texture, like fingerlings, or others like Russet that will crumble more easily. Peel them before serving or leave them on the table with the skin on, for your guests to decide. I personally prefer to peel the potatoes before serving them.

In all cases, it’s humble food at its best. Something delicious that makes a light dinner if you eat a green salad on the side; or something more substantial if you accompany the food with cured meats, grilled meats and other fresh summer salads.

Even my dad tends to agree…

Pommes de terre en robe des champs

For 4 people

You need:

  • 20 fingerling potatoes or 12 to 16 Russet potatoes, according to size
  • For the sauce:

  • 1.5 cups Greek style yogurt, whole milk (or full fat fromage blanc)
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • Dash of ground cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Steps:

  • Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (about 15 minutes, depending on size). Drain and let cool before peeling; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients to make the sauce. Serve the potatoes with the sauce.

51 comments

  1. Mmm… tu me donnes envie d’en manger. Des pommes de terres et surtout des Petits Suisses… Pourquoi personne n’a pensé à en importer en Amérique du Nord ?
    Les photos sont sublimes, comme d’habitude ! Merci de nous régaler… aussi les yeux !

  2. And a burger on the side. I have to make this. The idea of yogurt and chives (which we have a plenty of in our garden—chives, not yogurt). Beautiful and light. Oh yes, I will make this for fourth of July weekend. I will!

  3. Nothing tastier than a well dressed potato! Just need a chilled glass of wine to go with them. ;)

  4. Wow- these look so simple and pure- its amazing how sometimes that type of food is far better than the elaborate.

    Your photos ARE gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Mmmm. May have to try this for 4th of July weekend. Sounds delicious. Perhaps with a grilled flank steak. Thanks for the great recipe and gorgeous photos. I am continuously inspired by your posts.

  6. moi aussi j’adore le fromage blanc! superbes photos comme d’habitude!

  7. I make a similar yogurt sauce for dipping roasted potato wedges, but it never occurred to me to use small boiled potatoes instead!

  8. What a pretty way to describe potatoes in skin. I must agree with you on requesting that full fat dairy products become more normal in America. We shouldn’t be afraid of natural fat. It makes eating real food so much more worthwhile, and you don’t need so much of it.

    Thank you for the substituted suggestion of fromage blanc. I will have to try it!

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  10. Humble food at its best, indeed. This sort of simple vegetable dish is what I love to have for dinner most nights of the week. I can’t wait to try it!

  11. Great post! New steamed potatoes with a side of (in this case) quark mixed with chives, salt and pepper, and onion are also very popular in Germany. I also use greek yogurt now, the closest to quark.

  12. Très belles photos! Ta façon de jouer avec les couleurs est vraiment géniale! C’est plein de fraîcheur et c’est encore plus appétissant!

  13. Je partage ce plaisir terrien de pommes de terre et fromage blanc, et suis prete a partager la recette du fromage blanc maison -que j’ai recu par une amie francaise aux US-

  14. ici, c’est une plat d’hiver magique. Quand elles ont cuit sous la cendre….trop booooon

    et tes billets sont toujours un régal pour les yeux comme pour la bouche!

  15. What a lovely post. The title is definitely charming – ‘en robs de champs’. Lovely countryside – makes me feel like travelling.

  16. Moi qui n’aimais pas les pommes de terre lorsque j’étais jeune, j’en raffole maintenant, surtout servies simplement comme les tiennes.

  17. How lovely. You can always manage to make even the most humble of dishes a delight to the eyes with your photography.

  18. just what i had for dinner last night :) great with the hot weather that all of a sudden popped up here in Germany.
    best combined with a glass of cold bottermilk! yummieh!

  19. Ta délicieuse recette me rappelle le Bibelesskase, plat typique Alsacien que prépare ma Maman et que préparait ma grand-mère avant elle.
    Moi j’ai remplace les pommes de terres en robe des champs par des pommes de terre sautées…délicieux mais moins diététique. Merci pour toutes tes belles et bonnes recettes, je ne m’en lasse pas…

  20. I’ve been using yougurt quite a bit lately, amazing how well it goes in so many dishes that would call for cream, mayonnaise, heavier stuff

    Beautiful photos!

  21. Beautiful and yet so simple. It brought back some childhood memories. Where I live (Asia) it is also difficult to find good fromage blanc. A friend recently gave me a recipe for home made one. I tasted hers and it was sublime. I will experiment and report back!

  22. Thank you again for the feedback and ideas. When I am settled in my new kitchen again, I’ll definitely give fromage blanc a go!

  23. When I lived in London everyone at these tuna stuffed jacket potatoes and I thought they were so gross! Now I can make something that reminds me of my years there but that’s actually good (and French, I won’t tell!) My husband will love this.

  24. What you’re describing is a dish I’ve grown up with, and an old, poor man’s meal in Germany (at least in the very North). It’s called “Pellkartoffeln mit Quark”, literally peel-potatoes with fromage blanc. In my home, we ate it with at least two different types of quark, normally a green and a red version. The green type will have chives, parsley, shallots and any green herbs you fancy while the red version will be flavoured with paprika and contain pieces of red pepper and onion. Allegedly, very poor people used to eat the potatoes just with linseed oil, salt and pepper…
    It’s still one of my favourite dishes for an uncomplicated, healthy meal – and I love the earthiness about it, too. I have to admit that these days I often do this the English way, namely baking larger-size potatoes in the oven, so that the skin will be nicely crispy – smaller potatoes I prefer to boil. And there’s one perfect potato for this, the beloved Linda (recently almost pushed from the market as its licence had run out but thankfully saved by public outcry and a huge campaign of foodies).

  25. I grew up in Canada with the Norwegian tradition of always peeling your potatoes. After boiling they were placed on the table and everyone peeled their own potato on their dinner plate, diced it and had it with just butter, S&P or the main dish was ladled over top. I now always leave the skin on and just scrub well but funny how it is. I was just in Oslo and we all peeled our own potatoes:) Yummy post with lovely photos as usual.

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  27. I feel often for you when reading about your love to whole milk, whole grease products, sorry for you. Guess America isn’t a paradise for shopping products like these …

  28. Thanks for the yogurt substitution suggestion! This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. For now, I’ll just stare into these pictures and bonk my head on my computer screen a few more times… so, so very gorgeous!

  29. So, now I know what “pommes de terre en robe des champs” IS! I’ve lived in France more than 10 years now, and I’ve never been clear on it.
    I keep HOPING they’ll be baked Idaho russet potatoes but, of course, they never are!
    But nor have I ever seen them this way, which sounds delicious.
    We’ll be (probably) moving back Stateside this year and, you mean there is no fromage blanc there? Quelle horreur!
    Most excellent yogurt-mix substitute, however!

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  31. Vous NE surveillez Pas de Liste.
    Pommes de terre, pommes de terre est, je l’amour bonne à manger! J’ai faim, aujourd’hui, n’ont pas manger les pommes de terre

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