Potato Classics

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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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