There once was a time when eating potatoes meant fried, baked, or boiled. Since
few people made fries at home, we all contently kept on baking potatoes that we kept
stocked in the kitchens and the more adventurous among us kept a stash of new potatoes
Then along came Yukon Golds, a somewhat waxy all-purpose potato which seemed to
catch on like wild fire—a pleasant potato, for sure, but like most things that
are middle-of-the-road, not the kind of potatoes you fall madly in love with.
These days, on a trip to the big Union Square market in New York City, I'm
faced with a mind-boggling array of choices, from Ruby Crescents to Delta
Blues. I quickly became enchanted with long, knobby fingerlings, enjoying their
earthy flavor and mild waxiness. I always chose them when I wanted to roast
potatoes until I discovered purple potatoes.
Aside from being gorgeous to behold, purple potatoes have an intense earthy
flavor and hold their shape well after cooking—making them an excellent choice
for room temperature salads as well as pilaf-style dishes. They are also
absolutely delicious roasted on their own, with just a drizzle of olive oil and
a sprinkle of coarse salt.
As you'll see in the recipe below, I don't habitually peel potatoes before
cooking. I love the additional texture and flavor the peels provide, and the
extra fiber and nutrients are yet another bonus.
Caraway-Flecked Quinoa with Purple Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 pound purple potatoes or fingerlings, scrubbed and trimmed (no need to peel)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Cut the potatoes into matchsticks about 1-inch long and 1/4-inch thick.
In a heavy, 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high
heat. Add the onions, garlic, and caraway seeds. Cook, stirring frequently,
until the onions are limp and begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the broth and salt (use less if broth is salted), and bring to a boil.
Stir in the quinoa and potatoes. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook
until the potatoes are tender and the quinoa is translucent, 13 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and more salt, if needed. Serve
warm or at room temperature.
Recipe copyright, Lorna Sass, 2008