What’s in Season? Potatoes

I’ve been seeing a lot of potatoes at the farmers market lately: red-skinned potatoes, teeny fingerlings, Yukon Golds, Peruvian purples, even baby russets (which would make excellent mini baked potatoes). Who doesn’t love potatoes? Well, I know a couple of people who don’t, but clearly they are abnormal. Potatoes are so versatile and are welcome at almost every meal.

Potatoes are low maintenance too. Mature potatoes will keep one to two months when stored in a dark place (not the refrigerator). To prep, scrub them well, cut out any green spots, eyes or sprouts, and peel if you’re so inclined. Figure on ¼ pound or ½ medium potato per serving.

There are basically three types of potatoes: waxy, starchy and all-purpose. Each is best suited for a particular type of preparation. Here are my favorite ways to cook each type of potato:

  • Fingerlings: I like to simmer these tiny potatoes in just enough stock to cover until they are tender. Then raise the heat, add some butter and stir until the liquid boils away. They are great garnished with fresh herbs.
  • New potatoes: These waxy potatoes are best boiled and tossed with butter before serving. I like to boil them in water with mint leaves for an interesting, subtle taste.
  • Red potatoes: Also a waxy potato, these are great for cutting into wedges and roasting at 425 degrees. They also go well on the grill.
  • Russets: These are starchy potatoes and are best suited to baking. Poke holes in the skin first with a fork, but do not wrap in foil, as that will steam the potato instead of baking it. In a 350-degree oven, a russet can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1½ hours to bake.
  • Yukon Golds: These are the go-to potatoes, perfect for any potato recipe. Try slicing them thinly and sauteing them in a mixture of olive oil and butter.

Don’t forget you can also mash or oven-fry your potatoes. Oh, how could you forget?

For more on potatoes, including “breaking potato news” as well as recipes, check out Potato Goodness Unearthed.

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3 thoughts on “What’s in Season? Potatoes

  1. Jane Marie 13 July 2008 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for pointing out the differences in potatoes and their uses. I’m always a little confused as to what potato is best for the recipe I have. My mother always used Michiagn whites and so I had to learn a whole new world of potatoes when I got married, (many years ago) and am still unsure of them all.

  2. Chicken Recipe 16 July 2008 at 1:05 pm

    It’s a great post. Thanks for sharing it

  3. […] bake (russets), mash (Yukon gold), pan-fry (diced or sliced) or roast (red or […]

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