Friday, July 16, 2010

Po-ta-toes, and more po-ta-toes

That's the way Sam says it to Gollum in one of the LOTR movies (we quote them to each other all the time).

Our favorite thing to do with potatoes, especially in the winter, is just roast them. It's hardly worth writing out a recipe, but for what it's worth here's what we do:

1. Heat oven to 450 or so

2. Cut up a bunch of potatoes, carrots, onions, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, bratwurst, and/or anything else that sounds good and put 'em all in a bowl.

3. Add some olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and any spices that sound good, and mix until everything is covered. We usually use sage and rosemary, but at various times we've also used mesquite grill seasoning, Montreal steak seasoning, herb de Provence, and stone ground mustard, and it always come out good.

4. Pour it all into a baking pan and bake until things are done: tender and maybe even a little crispy on the outside. It's a fool-proof recipe and very satisfying.

Here's a little more legitimate recipe involving potatoes, and it's the perfect season for it or soon will be, when fresh basil starts to show up. We got it from a cookbook called Potatoes, by Annie Nichols - one of these cookbooks that's almost more a coffee-table book than a recipe book - food porn - but this one comes out well.

Macadamia pesto and potatoes with pasta:

1/4 cup unsalted macadamias, chopped (we can almost never find unsalted madadamias; salted ones will do in a pinch)
1 garlic clove, chopped
medium bunch fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Put the garlic, basil, cheese, and nuts in a food processor and chop finely; drizzle the olive oil through the little hole on the top while blades are going (turns out that's what it's for). When it's all blended together add salt and pepper to taste.

Potatoes and pasta:
1/2 pound new potatoes
as much pasta as you need (recipe calls for tagliatelle, but I prefer penne with this dish)

Slice the potatoes into largish chunks and boil them till they're tender. Drain.

Boil the pasta, drain, but leave a couple of tablespoons of water in the pot. Then mix the potatoes, pasta, and pesto in the pot (supposedly the cooking water helps the pesto to bind to the other things). Voila. Top with more grated Parmesan.


  1. the macadamia pesto sounds awesome! will try.

  2. That whole po-ta-toes and pasta thing sounds sinful :) I agree with Lorien that the pesto sounds delectible.

  3. The fresh basil thing is addictive. It's just about to come into season here, I think - last year in the late summer we were getting big bags of fresh basil cheap at the farmer's market and making lots of homemade pesto. The idea was to make extra and freeze it, because supposedly it freezes well, but we never seemed to leave it in the freezer very long...