Potato Classics

The ultimate comfort food, potatoes are one of the most versatile veggies around! They’re surprisingly nutritious too. For example, a medium-sized baked potato with skin has around 28% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, 27% DV for vitamin B6, 26% of potassium, 15% of dietary fiber, and about 10% of protein. They can be cooked in almost any way imaginable, are fabulous on their own or when used to dress up salads, soups, stir-fries, egg dishes, and much more. Here are some classic, delicious, and easy ways to prepare them.

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 450 °F.
  • Scrub and dry potatoes, leaving the skin on. Keep small fingerling or tiny potatoes whole, and cut larger potatoes into large bite-size pieces.
  • Toss potatoes in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat well, spread them on a rimmed cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast (stirring once halfway through) until golden-brown and fork-tender (about 30–40 minutes, depending on size of potatoes).
  • Experiment with adding in crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese, or different herbs or seasonings.

Cook’s note: Experiment by adding in crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, or different seasonings with this hearty, tasty side dish.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Scrub potatoes and cut into 1- or 2-inch chunks (peels are optional).
  • Place in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until fork tender, 10–15 minutes or so, depending on size of chunks (don’t overcook!).
  • Drain potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. For every 2 cups of cooked potatoes, add in a teaspoon or 2 of butter and 2 tablespoons of whole cream, half-and-half, or milk.
  • Press through a potato ricer, mash manually, or use an electric mixer until desired consistency is reached (with electric mixer, add a bit of milk to thin potatoes as necessary).
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
  • Also delicious mixed with roasted garlic and chives or other fresh herbs.
  • (To make this dish vegan, omit butter and substitute olive oil for cream or milk.)

Cook’s note: To make this dish vegan, omit butter and substitute olive oil for cream or milk. Leaving the skins on maintains many nutrients and adds texture to your potatoes.

Herbed Potato Salad

  • Scrub potatoes (skins are optional), and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Add an inch of water to a large saucepan with a steamer basket or metal colander; cover and bring water to a boil.
  •  Place cut potatoes in the basket, cover, and steam until tender (7–15 minutes depending on size of chunks), and remove from heat.
  • Add potatoes to a mixing bowl. For every 2 cups of cooked potatoes, add 1/4 cup chopped fresh herb leaves (dill, basil, mint, parsley, etc.).
  • For a creamy dressing, stir in enough mayonnaise and/or sour cream to lightly coat (more or less to taste).
  • For a tangy dressing, add about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons of whole-grain mustard per 2 cups of cooked potatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm, at room temp, or chilled.

Cook’s note: Try adding in chopped celery, cucumber, or fresh fennel, and garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

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The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.