Post by Contributing Writer, Nada.
While the weather is still chilly, early Farmer’s Market tables or CSA bins often include cheerful bunches of green spinach, and some new potatoes (or ones left from the previous fall/winter harvest). When eating seasonally, potatoes can begin to sound a bit boring, in comparison to the bright flavors to come later in the summer. Here is a fun seasonal recipe to brighten up your plate!
“Without the potato, the balance of European power might never have tilted north.”
Can you guess how many different varieties of potato there are? 60, maybe? 240 perhaps? Possibly 483? Actually there are over 575 different types of potatoes. Wow!
However, all of these can be divided into roughly 6 categories: yellow, white, russet, red, fingerling, and blue. In this post of Farmer’s Market Finds, we are going to work on the yellow variety.
Yellow potatoes are medium-sized round potatoes, often with a beautiful golden color skin and flesh. They grow year round and can be found almost anywhere, which makes them available for almost everyone. We can use our yellow potatoes in a variety of different dishes, but the main uses for mashing, baking and used as fries.
How to Select Potatoes
When selecting a potato, look for firm, well-shaped potatoes, with smooth, blemish-free skins. Potatoes with sprouts indicate that they are older and will spoil sooner.
Avoid potatoes that have a greenish tinge to them. This is often “light burn”, meaning the potatoes were too close to the light when they were growing. This green tinge can indicate the presence of toxic alkaloids.
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place. Keeping your potatoes in an area that is too warm will cause them to wilt and shrivel. That would make the fridge optimal, right? Nope! This causes the starch in your potatoes to convert to sugar.
Another place people often keep their potatoes is in a bin with their onions. But onions and potatoes aren’t good for one another — the gases of the onions cause the potatoes to degenerate quicker. So keep your onions and potatoes separate (until they’re ready for the frying pan!).
So your best place to keep your potatoes are in burlap or paper bags in cupboards or potato bins. If you keep them properly, they should stay fresh and delicious for up to two months.
Serving Up Potatoes
Nutritionally, our yellow potatoes are excellent sources of vitamin C, with 1 medium potato containing 45% of your daily intake. They also are high in carbohydrates, so they will provide a nice burst of energy when you’re feeling less than active.
In honor of our good friend St. Patrick, I thought we might make a yummy green potatoes side dish! But there’s no toxic alkaloids in this dish! Just potatoes, spinach, garlic and cream. Yum!
Green Mashed Potatoes
4 – 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/2 lb. fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or 2 tablespoons diced garlic)
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Place your potatoes in a large pot of water. Let simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Drain.
While potatoes are cooking, rinse and dry spinach, then chop fine. Over medium heat, melt butter. Add spinach, onions and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat in butter. Cover and sauté, stirring occasionally until the spinach leaves have wilted and onions have softened.
Mash potatoes. Add cream and spinach. Whip together in a standing mixer or by hand until well combined. Add salt and pepper, and extra butter as necessary. Serve hot.
Nada is a first-time mom to a delightful little girl and the wife to a wise and wonderful man. With a background in fitness and nutrition, she enjoys healthy cooking, green cleaning and especially writing, and has acquired a vast knowledge of interesting little facts… about everything! She aspires to be a Godly woman that her daughter is proud to call “Mom” and through her blog, miniMOMist, she discusses how attachment parenting, minimalism, simplicity and frugal living help her in her everyday mission.