Despite the fact that potatoes are available in the grocery store year-round, at our local farmers’ markets they’re quite seasonal. Every spring, select local farmers begin to unearth their bounty of fresh tubers, available in an array of shapes, sizes and colors.
Considered “new” potatoes when harvested early in the season this time of year, they have sugars that are in the early stages of converting to starch. That yields a much sweeter presence. Smaller in size than fully mature potatoes, these tend to have thinner skins and a higher level of moisture within.
With about a dozen varieties on hand at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ market this time of year, I found myself rounding up an assortment that included multiple types of fingerlings, deep purple Majesty potatoes, Harvest Moon potatoes with their dark purple skin and yellow center, Masquerade potatoes that possess a mixed yellow and purple skin, and a few creamy Yukon Gold potatoes to round it out. Whether they’re roasted, boiled, steamed or fried, the all-around flavor of these new potatoes is absolutely incredible.
This week I prepared simple roasted fingerling potatoes, infused with some garlic and fresh thyme leaves.
Once roasted, fingerling potatoes deliver a nice crisp exterior and a super soft, smooth center. These elongated potatoes pair perfectly with an array of grilled or roasted meats, and any leftover potatoes can be used to make tasty breakfast potatoes or a potato salad, the following day.
Garlic-Thyme Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
1 pound fingerling potatoes, rinsed and dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss together until well incorporated. Cover and let sit on the countertop for about 20 minutes. Then add to a baking sheet in a single layer, making sure most of the garlic and thyme pieces are on the top of the potatoes. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Seasons with additional salt and pepper as desired to taste.
Yield: Makes four sides.