Wednesday, April 9, 2008

fork-crushed purple potatoes

fork-crushed purple potatoes

If there is any singular advantage of having a Cook This list with bullets numbering into the hundreds, its that one always has an idea of what can be done when they finally make it to the Union Square Greenmarket on the most stunning, spring-like Sunday one has seen since forever only to find that it was not filled with the ramps and leafy things of one’s spring Greenmarket fantasy but onions and potatoes as far as the eye can see. [One can also write the longest sentence ever.]

Because, you see, I’ve had a simple recipe for purple potatoes bookmarked for nearly a year now, but before last weekend, had yet to run into the purple potatoes required to make it. Yes, I said required–what? Oh, you think you could use just any potato? That dark, reddish blueish hued tubers are not a prerequisite to this dish? Well, I say you sound exactly like Alex and Alex is wrong, too.


No, being my needling, fussy self, I wouldn’t make this dish until I found purple potatoes. According to, this potato was developed in Colorado way back in ancient times 2006 using “natural cross-breeding techniques that somehow results in a superspud containing freakishly high amounts of antioxidants.” Apparently, these purple nuggets found a fan in a chef named Michael Anthony who–although I am not the chef-gazing type–we like enough to have invited (heh–by way of him to cook a celebratory dinner for both our first (at Blue Hill) and second (at Grammercy Tavern) wedding anniversaries.

purple majesty potatoeslemon, parsley, shallots

All of which is to offer you a very complicated introduction to a very uncomplicated dish created by Anthony to show off the awesomeness that is Purple Majesty Potatoes. I know what you’re thinking–a fancy restaurant chef with a accessible but original recipe? That’s why we love him too. The purple taters are boiled, peeled, fork-crushed and mixed with shallots, lemon, olive oil, parsley and sea salt. But here’s the coolest part: the lemon juice makes them brighter. All the spots that got hit with the lemon juice became lighter and brighter, more fushia/beet-colored and less purple.

In short, it was stunning. So, if you find some at one of your markets, make this. If you don’t, I suppose you could use any old small or fingerling potato, you know, if you’re not a royal pain in the butt like me.

Finally, some pictures of onions and potatoes, oh and one short-lived iced coffee, from last weekend:

One year ago: Potato Rosemary Bread (I have been craving exactly this all week–uncanny!)

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.


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