As you saw yesterday, we picked up Purple Majesty potatoes as part of our CSA share. We knew that we’d have to do something pretty special to show off all that color and flavor. Now, it might surprise you that, dear reader, when we want to show off a certain aspect of an ingredient, we tend to do as little as possible to that ingredient; in the case of the purple potatoes, we knew that we’d basically cook them and eat them with just a touch of seasoning. With the elaborate recipes that sometimes show up these days, simple is pretty special.
If it weren’t so hot these days, we would’ve oven-roasted the potatoes; instead, we went with a simple pan roasting. You can do this in the oven, if you wish. It’s all basically the same idea: toss the potatoes in some olive oil, add a bit of seasoning, and cook them until they’re tender.
Of course, you don’t need purple potatoes for this. Any kind of potato will work just fine. We do recommend that you use fresh rosemary (it’s about three sprigs’ worth), particularly if you have a special variety of potato. Why cook up something special and then skimp on the remainder of the ingredients? Similar story for the oil. Yes, we know the oil will lose its flavor as it cooks. Oh, all right, use a neutral-tasting oil if you don’t have olive oil. Try to use some salt without additional ingredients; sea salt would work well, but we went with kosher for its larger granules.
Procedure in detail:
Wash and slice. For these potatoes, we wanted to show off the cool color, so we washed them well, didn’t peel them (ours are naturally grown — most potatoes have a lot of pesticides applied), and sliced them about 1/4 inch thick.
Cook potatoes. Put a skillet (we prefer cast-iron for making pan-roasted food as nothing sticks) and the oil over medium heat and let it get hot enough so the potato will sizzle when it hits the pan. Add the potatoes, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost completely tender, about 20 minutes.
Add seasoning. Stir in the rosemary and salt, and continue to cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they’re fork tender, about another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately. While you could keep these warm for a while, either in the oven or over very low heat, we surely can’t resist eating them immediately.
We love potatoes, and this, we think, is probably one of the best ways to show off the potato flavor. The rosemary and salt just seem to bring out more potato-ness without overwhelming the taste buds with a medley of flavors. Plus, with these purple potatoes, it’s a nice way to show them off — we’re not too sure about purple mashed potatoes, for example. If you’re wondering what the purple potatoes taste like, they’re somewhat starchy, like a baking potato with a slight nutty flavor. When you eat it, you can tell it’s a potato, but it seems as though there’s just a bit more flavor there, too. Five stars for taste and simplicity.