I have met very few potatoes I didn’t like. There was a casserole my mother made when we were camping that used canned potatoes. I’ll spare you the details. There was also the gummy blender mashed potatoes I made in high school; I’d been practicing the new Oster with just about everything.
Any way you cook them…
Give me mashed, French fried, hash browned, scalloped, puffed, stuffed, home fried, roasted, or baked and I’m a happy gal. Give me a potato chip, and we’re friends for life. Whether an addition to a peasant soup or side dish at a grand banquet, potatoes please most everyone.
My Mom made the best whipped and mashed potatoes, but often on a week night, she would serve up simple and quick boiled potatoes which we would individually dress with butter, salt, and pepper, and gravy if available. They also served as a base for salmon or tuna wiggle, hamburger gravy, and any number of other simple supper dishes. Leftovers fried up the next morning made the best home fries.
Simple, easy, crowd-pleasing
Boiled potatoes. Simple, but always welcome by all, and they can easily be dressed up with herbs and aromatics to make them dinner party delightful. You’ll only be adding a few minutes in time, but with big rewards.
For this dish, I used some pretty and nutritious tri-colored fingerling potatoes. I called them red, white, and blue, but my granddaughter said more accurately they were magenta, yellow, and purple! The herbs were calling to me from my garden, so I used chives and their beautiful flowers, parsley, and tarragon. It was a lovely combination. Another time, I might have used just rosemary, or parsley and thyme, or lavender and thyme. Use what you have and what you like the best.
A touch of interest
The touch of lemon juice and zest brightens things up, and the grainy mustard gives some zip. If you don’t want to use butter or even vegan butter, just use more olive oil.
This is delicious hot, warm, or room temperature. Make extra, and use the leftovers the next day as a salad for a whole new experience. You will probably have to add a bit more olive oil and lemon juice, and a bit of mustard, as the potatoes will absorb everything in the sitting.
Herbed Fingerling Potatoes with Mustard and Lemon
- 1 ½ lbs. fingerling or new red potatoes
- Salt for water
- 1 tbsp. butter or vegan butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, in press
- 2 tbsp. grainy French mustard
- 2 tbsp. fresh chives, finely minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely minced
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Fresh chive flowers, if available, to garnish
Slice the potatoes in half and place in a pot. Cover with cold water, and salt the water liberally. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook just until tender. This can take from five to 12 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. A knife inserted will meet no resistance, and if you pick up the potato on the knife, it won’t fall off.
Drain, set aside, and return the pot to the burner, letting any water in the pot evaporate.
Place the butter, olive oil, garlic, and mustard in the pot over medium and swirl until the butter is melted. Add the herbs, mix for about 20 seconds, then return the potatoes to the pot. Season with salt and liberal amounts of freshly ground pepper. Gently stir to coat the potatoes, being careful not to break them up. If you want this a bit more creamy, add a bit more butter.
Plate, and garnish with the lemon juice and zest. If you have some fresh chive flowers, separate a couple and toss the tasty little florets on as well.
Favorite additions: Love black kalamata olives in this dish, as well as quartered artichoke hearts!
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