Right from the time I first saw them on Discovery or some such channel I was quite fascinated with them. Years later, very recently I was thrilled when I got to buy them at whole foods. That was the first time ever that I held a purple potato in my life. You must be surprised at the way I talk about this rare (at least to me) vegetable as if it is worth its weight in gold.
So incredible is the feeling of discovering/exploring a new food ingredient!
Ever since I started blogging, everyday is a discovery of something new to me, blogging has left the doors of learning wide open. Now I always have my eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary when I stroll around the food market.
Nature displays her sense of color in fascinating ways. There is something magical about food in unusual colors, a pure delight.
Contrary to popular skepticism, purple potatoes even as they appear outlandish, are not genetically modified. Thank God!
Purple potatoes it seems were among the first to be cultivated in the Peruvian Andes by the Incas, reserved as a special treat for the kings.
Potatoes are off-late the most frowned upon food for their high starch content and for being just what they are, ‘carbs’. Purple potato with its vivid deep navy blue mixed purple color is both bold and beautiful, bold in hue and beautiful in looks and just like blueberries, it is supposedly rich in antioxidants.
Now that I have revealed the good news, aren’t there more reasons to pick up this purple tater than its whiter namesake?
I know exactly what’s on your mind now. What about its texture and taste? I am coming to it right away.
Some say they taste just like potatoes. I felt they taste quite purple, in a nice way, really. I don’t know if it was just me or the potatoes themselves.
The texture is creamy with a velvety feel to the bite, a tad bit sweet with a skin thinner. Some even say it is subtly nutty with a grassy note, may be it just depends on the produce or the season.
They are smaller, cook fast and turn almost an elephant grey on cooking.
I guess you can cook them in all the same ways as you would the regular spud but I wanted a recipe as flamboyant as their looks. My least favorite way to eat them is all mushy in mashed potatoes. I feel slices and chunks flatter them better and thus roasting came as the natural choice.
Next time around, I’d love to explore them in a mixed bag along with their gold and rose counterparts as the contrasting colors sound rather interesting. They are a bit pricey compared to the regular ones, but hey! I feel they are worth the premium. They are more nutritious and I love to eat them.
Rosemary being intensely aromatic perfectly accentuates this purple tuber united with the characteristic pungency of garlic.
Intensely flavorful and deeply satisfying, these healthy roasted purple potatoes are the perfect recipe to replace french fries. Neither the calories nor the guilt!
Purple potatoes are not something you see often served in a restaurant or in someone’s house. Hope you got a new recipe to share some good-eat moments with friends and family.
Do have your eyes out when you hit the farmer’s market this spring/summer.
May be I should grow them in my balcony garden…
My next exploration would be purple potatoes with lavendar and fleur de sel in place of sea salt for a whimsical taste with perfect saltiness, another time. A pinch of food for thought, eh?
Have you ever had a rendezvous with purple potatoes? How would you describe its taste?
- 1 lb purple potatoes
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves about 1 sprig, minced
- 2 garlic cloves or per taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- sea salt to taste
- baking tray
- aluminium foil to line the tray
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Line baking tray with aluminium foil and either brush or spray some olive oil.
- Wash, dry and quarter the potatoes into wedges. To easily release rosemary leaves, hold the end of the sprig in one hand and pull the leaves backwards in a swift motion. Hold them all together to chop.
- To easily mince garlic, let's use the "smash the garlic clove with the knife" trick. Place the chef's knife sideways on the garlic clove with one hand and smash it against the cutting board with the other palm as the hammer. Then peel and run your knife back and forth like a saw to chop/mince it.
- In a large mixing bowl, quickly combine all the ingredients, salt being the last (to avoid sogginess) making sure that all the potato wedges are well coated with olive oil, herb and spices.
- Arrange the wedges facing up on the baking tray and bake for 20 mins or until edges are brown and crisp and fork tender.
- Do not over bake or leave the potatoes in the oven longer than the baking time or they'll shrink.
Dried rosemary should be fine too, though fresh works best.
Thyme can also be used along with or instead of rosemary.
Fingerlings and gourmet potatoes work equally well with this recipe and result in crisp on the outside and buttery on the inside wedges. White and red skinned potatoes work fine as well but not the russet potatoes.