Last weekend, I got a box of small, new red potatoes at my local farmers’ market. I think my potatoes are adorable, blemishes and all. Beauty is only skin deep, of course. I love my spuds for other reasons too. They're inexpensive (love a cheap date), delicious (my taste buds report), fast cooking (no delayed gratification here) and easy to make (simple wins my heart.) As if those virtues weren’t enough, any leftovers make great home fries for a weekend breakfast.
If you don’t have access to a farmers market, check your local grocery store. Even chains like Safeway and Giant, advertise locally grown produce. Buying local produce is a good move. Besides the environmental benefits (reducing your carbon footprint), local foods sold in season are often tastier than varieties packaged for transportation over long distances.
My mantra for fresh vegetables is “keep it simple - let the taste of the vegetable shine through.” If you’ve ever eaten a spectacular potato, tomato or carrot, you know what I mean. This barely qualifies as a recipe. With apologies to Oprah, it is more like directions for letting the potato be its best self.
Small, red potatoes with herbs - 2 servings. Total Cost - $2.24
- 1 lb. small, red potatoes (about 8-10)
- 1 –1 ½ teaspoon chopped herbs - Which herb to use is a matter of taste and what’s available. Chives, dill, rosemary and parsley are all great.
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, butter or margarine - I prefer olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Colander or slotted spoon for draining potatoes
- Cutting board
- Medium sized pot
- Chop the herbs and set aside.
- Wash the potatoes in the bowl or colander.
- Cut potatoes in half, or quarters if the potatoes are a bit bigger than mine.
- Put them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower it to a low boil. Cook the potatoes for about 8-10 minutes after the water reaches the boil. My preference is for slightly crunchy potatoes, so I consider them done if a fork goes through, but encounters slight resistance. If you prefer your potatoes softer, let them cook until a fork glides easily through the potato.
- Drain water from the potatoes by pouring them into colander or taking them out of pot with a slotted spoon.
- Place the potatoes in the bowl. Add the herbs, oil, butter or margarine, and salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
|1 lb. potatoes||$1.00||Farmers' market - $1.00 per basket (abt. 1.5 lbs)|
|1 - 1/2 teaspoons herbs||$1.00||mine were free - from garden, farmer had dill for $1|
|1 tablespoon olive oil||$0.24||Safeway - $8.19 for 17 fl. Oz./$.48 oz|
|salt & pepper||pantry|
If you have any potatoes left over, refrigerate them overnight and use them for home fries in the next day or two. For home fries, chop onions, green and red pepper, and slice the cold, cooked potatoes. Put a small amount of oil in a pan – just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil in the pan until a piece of onion put in begins to sizzle. Add the onions and pepper and cook until they are soft. Add the potato slices and continue cooking everything until the potatoes start to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste and dig in. On second thought, maybe you should take them out of the pan first?