Purple Peruvian Potatoes

Gone are the days of Idaho & russet potatoes reigning supreme in the supermarket.  And, forget what you knew about eating potatoes – they are not fattening or unhealthy.  It turns out that potatoes are:

  • low in calories (a medium potato has 163 calories).  It’s the stuff you add to them that’s fattening!
  • easy to prepare
  • full of vitamin C and potassium
  • the number one vegetable crop in the world
  • harvested every month of the year so are available year-round, and they come in many varieties

How to buy and store potatoes:

  • Rather than buy your potatoes in a bag, buy them individually so you can inspect each one.
  • Potatoes should be firm, well shaped and smooth.
  • Potatoes should have no decay, sprouts, or any green coloration.
  • Potatoes love dark, dry places about 45° F– 50° F. Don’t have a root cellar?  Try to find a place that approximates one.
  • Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator.  That makes their starch turn to sugar and they won’t taste as good.
  • Don’t store potatoes near onions as their gasses will fight and they will rot.
  • Store potatoes in a burlap or paper bag.
  • Potatoes do not freeze well.

Potatoes are classified by their starch content. High-starch potatoes are good for baking potatoes or making crispy fries because they absorb moisture.  Low-starch potatoes are waxier and moist.  They don’t fall apart when steamed or boiled.

Some interesting potato varieties:

Fingerlings are 2” – 4” inches long and are finger-shaped.  They can have red, orange, purple or white skin and red, orange, purple, yellow or white flesh.  They are waxy and firm and are best pan-fried, roasted or in salads.


Purple Peruvians are small oval-shaped heirloom potatoes that are new to the U.S. market.  They have a mild flavor and a thick skin.  Because they keep their shape, they make good roasting potatoes and are good in salads.  They can also be mashed and add great color to any dish.


Red Rose potatoes have a gorgeous red skin and are waxy, firm potatoes.  They keep their figures so are good for roasting.


Russian Banana are fingerling potatoes with a golden flesh.  They are waxy and look just like bananas when sliced in half vertically. They have a slight nutty taste that roasting enhances.


Adirondack Blues are another potato that adds color to the meal. They are a deep purple but when mashed they turn a lovely shade of blue.  They hold their shape and stay moist.


Healthy potato recipes:

From Smitten Kitchen

Michael Anthony’s Fork-Crushed Purple Majesty Potatoes
Adapted from New York Magazine

Serves 4

1 pound Purple Majesty or other purple potatoes, washed
4 small shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil (we used half, and it was plenty for us)
Fleur de sel to taste
White pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

In a large pot, cook potatoes with skins on in heavily salted boiling water until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from pot, and peel them while still warm. Place potatoes in a large bowl and, using a fork, gently smash them, maintaining a fairly chunky consistency. Fold in minced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, fleur de sel, and white pepper. Finish with parsley.


From Organic Authority

Potato Salad Recipe With Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish

Serves 4–6

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 large clove garlic, minced

11/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large Greek or Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped

6-8 brine-cured black Mediterranean olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup chopped fennel

3 large green onions, including green parts, chopped

12 small multicolored potatoes (about 21/2 pounds)

14 ounces quartered artichoke hearts in water, preferably from a jar

5 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled


To make the olive relish, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Stir in the olives, fennel, and two-thirds of the green onions.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 25 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half, then transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichokes and olive relish. Toss to blend. Stir in most of the cheese, reserving some for sprinkling on top.

Sprinkle the remaining green onions and the remaining cheese over the salad and

This recipe comes from Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.


Blue Potato Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

1 ¾ lbs Adirondack blue potatoes

1 small bell pepper, diced (I used a purple lilac pepper)

¼ large onion, chopped fine

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp sugar

~15 fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

I cook the potatoes using a method taught by my mom. Place the whole potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Once they boil, turn off the heat. Leave the lid on, and let them sit in the hot water until the potatoes are softened. For this recipe they sat about 15 – 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and let them cool, chop into bite-size pieces. Add the bell pepper and the onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and sugar. Chop the basil and stir into the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve soon after making because the potatoes do begin to lighten a bit as they sit. Serves 6.

Recipe from the Fake Food Free website


Pan Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Crispy Bacon and Fried Sage

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse on The Food Network


1 pound fingerling (Russian banana) potatoes, each about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long
Salt and pepper
3 strips thick-cut smoked bacon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup sage leaves


Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Remove from the heat and cool under running cold water. Once cool enough to handle, place the potatoes on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise, if desired. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large, 12-inch sauté pan, place the bacon over medium-heat. Render the bacon until crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes. After a couple minutes of cooking the bacon, add the onion. When bacon is crispy and onion is translucent, add the garlic and sage and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the blanched, seasoned potatoes, cut side down, and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for an additional 2 1/2 minutes. Re-season, if necessary, and serve while hot.


Do you have a favorite potato recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.