For most of my life, I've made potatoes two ways: mashed or roasted. The idea of a boiled potato seemed rather uninteresting. I mean, how is it possible to impart any flavor when all you're doing is throwing them into some hot water. Then, a few years ago, I was introduced to Syracuse salt potatoes. Even though I studied at Syracuse University for a year, I only learned about them on a business trip out there. The small new potatoes were cooked in a large pot of very salty water with the skins left on. The result is a super creamy potato.
These, of course, are not Syracuse salt potatoes... but I thought about them as I was preparing this dish. I started with a bit more salt that I normally would in my water. Just like salting pasta water, this infuses the potatoes with a lot of flavor and helps break down the starches in the potato, giving them their creamy consistency. Once done cooking, they were given some tablespoons of butter (of course), minced garlic, chopped herbs (I used a combination of what we had in our garden), and a nice amount of coarsely ground black pepper.
What made this side even more special was where the potatoes came from. While we were in the Berkshires last week, Eric and I went out to visit our friends Heather and Matt at Sparrow Arc Farm in Copake, NY. I've had the pleasure of hanging with them a couple of times at various events and we hit it off immediately. They were so kind to take us around their property and explain what they're growing and their process (it's quite the operation). We went berry picking with their kids (check out this picture of their youngest after he devoured multiple handfuls of blackberries).Before we departed, Matt handed us two large bags of new potatoes, which I've enjoyed serving to family and friends over the last week.
Buttery New Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Yield Serves 4-6
1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed well and cut in half or quartered, depending on size
3 tbsps butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tbsps chopped fresh herbs (a mixture of tarragon, parsley, chive, and basil)
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1. Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover with cold water until it's an inch over the potatoes. Season with Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes in a colander.
2. Add butter to the used saucepan, along with the minced garlic and chopped herbs. Transfer potatoes back to the sauce man and toss to coat with butter-herb mixture.
3. Taste for seasoning, and, if necessary, add more Kosher salt. Season with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.