19 January, 2018
… Three Potato, Four… Fingerlings
National Potato Day is August 19th by some sources like The Punchbowl and October 27th by others like Foodimentary. Foodimentary’s website is dedicated to National Food Holidays and is a fun read. It starts with January 1 being National Bloody Mary Day, well at least that’s where I started. A few Bloody Mary’s later… oops, let me circle back to today’s topic fingerling potatoes. Fun facts from Foodimentary about potatoes:
- “In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.
- The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
- While potatoes may be synonymous with the Irish, they were grown in the Andes mountains centuries before Europeans ever set foot in the new world.
- They’re cheap and ridiculously easy to grow and don’t require massive amounts of fertilizer and chemical additives to thrive (although some growers still use them anyway). They’re also good for you providing you’re not eating them in fried form all the time.”
And if you read the book or watched the movie “The Martian” you know there is a possibility you can even grow potatoes on Mars, should you ever need to.
I thought fingerlings was just some farmer’s brilliant idea to cultivate potatoes before they are fully grown, creating these mini potatoes and calling them fingerlings, then charging consumers ten times more than a regular-sized spud for this unique product. But no, I found out that these minute potatoes are actually a variety on to their own.
Here’s a description from Wikipedia:
“A fingerling potato is a small, stubby, finger-shaped type of potato which may be any heritage potato cultivars. Fingerlings are varieties that naturally grow small and narrow. They are fully mature when harvested and are not to be confused with new potatoes.”
Okay, so I was wrong in my thinking. They look like potatoes, and taste like potatoes, only they are small – it’s a natural misconception.
In making this recipe I do have to say they were fun and easy to work with. I did cut up a few regular size potatoes to include because I was having a larger group of people than I had planned potatoes. I learned that the large potatoes cut up into smaller sizes to match the fingerlings worked okay but cooked faster so add them later in the cooking cycle. There were plenty of potatoes for the event, but next time I’ll buy two bags of the fingerlings if I’m cooking for a crowd.
Boiling potatoes in water before roasting is part of the two-step method. Not convinced this extra step was necessary. The one-step method listed below yielded the same results.
- 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced (or more if you like garlic)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Coat potatoes with olive oil, seasonings, garlic, and dashes of salt and pepper.
- Heat sheet pan in oven at 450 degrees, then remove to lightly coat with olive oil, and pour potatoes onto pan.
- Place potatoes in oven and cook at 425 degrees F.
- Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside.
- Place washed fingerlings in fry pan. Cover with water and boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from fry pan and place potatoes in a baking dish.
- Mix butter, olive oil, garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano together and pour over potatoes.
- Bake potatoes in 400 degree oven for additional 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.