Did you know?
- A new potato is simply a potato whose sugars have not yet been fully converted into starch–this is why they tend to be sweeter and it is also why they are good for certain things and not good for others (great for simple eating, not good for gnocchi or spanish tortilla or anything that needs potatoes that stick together better/need more starch)
- Due to their thin skins and high moisture content, new potatoes do not store for a long time in a cupboard the way a fully developed potato will. Keep them in the refrigerator and use them as soon as possible.
- Don’t worry about peeling new potatoes. The skin is tender and tasty, and yes, it contains more nutrients than the flesh.
- Potatoes are very high in potassium (one potato has more potassium than a banana!)
- Colorful potatoes are indeed healthier (and I would argue tastier) than white fleshed potatoes. The pigments in the potatoes are carotenoids and flavonoids which have many health benefits including cancer prevention.
How to Cook New Potatoes:
- Some people think new potatoes should only be boiled and served simply, with butter and herbs. These folks so love the creamy, earthy taste of new potatoes that they feel doing anything else to them would be a shame. I agree at the beginning of potato season but at this point in the summer, I like to expand my potato horizons a bit.
- If you do want to boil your potatoes, add the potatoes, chopped or whole, to the room temperature water, SALT YOUR WATER GENEROUSLY (it should taste as salty as ocean water, no joke—potatoes need salt, this is the secret to why potatoes are so good in Spain), and then bring all of it to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down a bit, and cook til a fork pierces the biggest potato easily. Watch carefully. Crunchy potatoes are the worst but mushy potatoes aren’t good for much other than mashed potatoes.
- If making a potato salad, of any kind, dress it while the potatoes are still warm. The warm potatoes will absorb all the flavors more fully that way—even if you plan on serving it cold the next day.
- Tender potatoes can make a delicious, cold soup such asVichyssoise, the summery, French version of potato leek soup, made rich with cream and served chilled.
New Potatoes with Herbs and Anchovy Butter
1 pound new potatoes, scrubbed
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 oil-packed anchovy fillet
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or dill, mint, or a mixture of herbs)
Additional salt, if needed
Place the potatoes, water and salt in a medium pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife pierces easily through one of the larger potatoes.
While the potatoes are simmering, place the butter and anchovy in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash them together, until the anchovy is in small flecks throughout the butter.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander and return them to the still-warm pot. Add the anchovy butter and herbs, and cover pot. Move pot around in a circular motion, so that the potatoes tumble around and are coated completely in the butter and herbs. Depending on the saltiness of your anchovy, you may need to add more salt. Taste a potato and add 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more) if needed. Serve warm.