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Purple potatoes

Over spring break I ate something many of you have probably never heard of, and no it’s not some crazy, exotic dish but rather something that many of you probably eat on a daily basis. What I’m talking about is a po- tato, but not your usual Idaho; Oh no, what I’m talking about is a purple
potato. I found out about purple or blue
potatoes a few years ago while watch- ing the Food Network. The potatoes originated from Peru and I found them to be extremely intriguing. Though I wished to try them it took a while before it became available in my local supermarket. Eventually I was able to taste the purple treat.
These potatoes taste very similar to your average potato, starchy and earthy, though these have a slightly nutty taste to them that’s barely noticeable. Texture-wise they’re a bit creamier than the russet variety. The biggest difference between these versus other potatoes is the nutritional value. Purple potatoes are rich in anti-oxidants; the reason for this is the color of the potato itself. This particular anti-oxidant is often found in red/purple/blue fruits and vegetables such as blue berries and pomegranates.
The purple variety can be used to substitute any other kind of potato in any recipe. This week I’ve a great
recipe for garlic mashed potatoes that tastes wonderful. The recipe will go well as a side dish or just as is depend- ing on how much you like potatoes. I enjoyed it and I hope you will too.
What you will need is 1 head garlic, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 10 multi-branch sprigs fresh thyme (about 1/3 ounce), 2 pounds purple or all-purpose white potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 1/2 cup low-fat milk, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
First preheat the oven to 400°F and put a pot of water on to boil. Peel the head of garlic making sure not to separate the cloves. Then cut the tip of the head off to expose the cloves. Place the garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with oil. Place sprigs of thyme around it and cover the baking dish with foil. Roast until very soft which should take about 30 to 45 minutes. After removing the garlic from the oven, allow it to cool and take off the foil. About 15 minutes before the garlic is done, cook the po- tatoes in a pot of boiling water until their tender, which is about eight to 12 minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes. Drain them well as excess water will not be tasty. Once you place the potatoes back in the pot, remove the skin of the garlic cloves and add them to the potatoes. Strain the excess oil through a fine sieve into the pot, making sure to press on the solids (discard the thyme). Finally add sour cream, milk, salt and pepper to taste and mash to desired consistency.
You can find the original recipe at www.eatingwell.com.

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About Jason Johnson