fork-crushed-purple-potatoes Recipes

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

127 comments on fork-crushed purple potatoes

  1. lovely, lovely pictures! I’m absolutely dying for our farmer’s market to start back up again…

    Deb, I hopped over here just this moment to send along this recipe:,,FOOD_9936_29712,00.html

    A while back I remember you made a bran muffin recipe with a “meatover” title and someone commented that they thought you had made little meatloaf muffins. Well, problem solved, Rachael Ray beat all of us to the challenge :D too funny…meatloaf muffins…

  2. Joanna

    If this weekend’s market is as un-qpring-like as last weekend’s was, I’ll have to ieep an eye out for these purple potatoes, this dish looks great! And I’m with you, it definitely needs purple potatoes, what a great burst of bolor. I went to the greenmarket last week too and all I came away with was a bag of onions and a cabbage, which I tried to convince myself was both green and leafy enough to deel like spring. It didn’t wori. I’m really jnnesing for fresh asparagus here!

  3. I get Adirondack blue and Adirondack red potatoes from the farmers market every week. I love how colorful they are. It makes eating more fun! My mashed potatoes, home fries, and oven-baked fries look like colorful rainbows.

  4. i’ve got to find these over the weekend. pretty food!

    i’m confused as to how you got that chef to cook for you on your anniversary(s) at 2 different restaurants via open table… i missed something – but i am curious!

  5. abpend

    We used to grow purple/blue potatoes when I was in middle school and high school, and given that I’m now graduating from college, I’m quite certain that they’ve been around since before 2006.

  6. Purple potatoes are so much fun to serve to kids! They love the color and will, typically, eat them up because of the odd color.

    Personally, I love the surprise factor on an adults face when they see something of that rich color on their plate. And, bottom line, those potatoes are yum.

  7. Jessica

    Claudia, I think that she meant that by inviting him, they made reservations at at the restaurants where he was cooking. Sounds like he transfered to Grammercy Tavern sometime inbetween 2006 & 2007!

  8. AddE

    Love, love, love your pics – so much so that I just ordered (6) 8x10s for my new kitchen! Landlady doesn’t let you paint over the plain eggshell paint? No problem, just use Deb’s pics as color :)

  9. Jeff

    What good timing! Last year, my CSA packed some purple potatoes and I was kind of perplexed as to what to do with it. Now I just have to wait patiently for them to show up again :)


  10. Stacey – native Maori potatoes in NZ, and there are purples ones there

    We have the above kind of purple potatoes available here in NZ – they are usually called Heirloom or Heritage potatoes

    Here is a US based supplier of some:

    And and interesting article about diff colours in veges

  11. Just so your readers don’t get confused- that particular variety of purple potato was developed in 2006. Purple potatoes themselves have existed for centuries in the Andes and are used in Peruvian cuisine.

  12. Purple potatoes actually do taste different than regular old potatoes, so good thing you waited. Not like I, ahem, did a taste test or anything my making boiled and mashed of both regular and purple and trying them (both blindfolded and not blindfolded). Nooo, no, I am sooo not that dorky.

  13. Ohhhh….our farmer’s market had purple potatoes and I wanted to get some so badly last weekend. Alas, I did not. I may have to go back this weekend, and pray that they still have some, so that I can try this recipe out. Thanks, Deb!

  14. Melissa

    Looks tasty. I also just passed some purple potatoes at the farmers market, but really didn’t know what to do with them. Now I do. I will be making this the next time I run across some.

  15. Emily

    Can you use blue potatoes, are they the same? I am not a potato expert so I don’t know if theres a difference. Looks great by the way! I love love love potatoes….

  16. The color alone makes the whole experience worth it. Although, I’m also wondering what these potatoes taste like. For some reason, the blue color is too tied up in my mind with the taste of blueberries, so I just didn’t have enough adventurous spirit in me today to buy them when I saw them at the market. And especially the picture with the fork — it totally makes me think of sugared blueberries, and… mmm…….. :)

  17. Spectacular… and almost completely unattainable to me! Purple tatas… what will they think of next. I totally HEART your photos here (esp that one with the fork close-up – using the Tamron macro??) and am about to trawl through the recipes to get inspired. Sigh. I wanna visit the Union Square Greenmarket (wherever the hey that is?? Where am I?? I’m lost in cyberspace??). My little Aussie bush supermarket specialises in washed or unwashed plain spuds. Ah well… a girl can dream…

  18. Raven

    Those are the most tantalising pictures I’ve ever seen. They look YUMMYLICIOUS. Sadly, those purple potatoes cost a bomb in this part of the world I’m living. So, maybe just maybe, I’ll try it once. On a brighter note, your site has most gorgeous pictures of all. I’m hooked. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Nicole

    I, too, bought some purple potatoes at the not-so-greenmarket last weekend. They’ve been loitering on my counter-top, waiting for me to call them over to the stove, hoping I’ll coax them into something delicious. For my part, I’ve been stumped. But I got some shallots from the same farmer and some inspiration for you. Bingo.

  20. emily

    Ah Lana you have cleared something up for me. I didn’t think I liked purple potatoes but I’ve only ever roasted them thinking it was the right thing to do… Now I hear that they are no good roasted I am tempted to try them again!

  21. That dish certainly DOES look stunning!!! GORGEOUS!!! I have yet to find purple potatoes at my local Whole Foods, OR at the farmer’s market – hopefully soon!!

    Golden delicious apples are among my favorite apple varieties :0)

  22. Don’t those look amazing! I think I saw some smallish purple potatoes in the grocery stores here last week… gonna have to give this a try. And there is nothing quite like a visit to a farmers market to signify that spring has definitely arrived! Thanks for the great reading…

  23. Wow. Amazingly gorgous photos, easy but luscious recipe, and a fabulous story. Now all I have to do is track down some purple potatoes! (And yes, I totally relate to feeling gipped at the farmer’s market last week. I want me some asparagus and peas!!!)

  24. looks wonderful.
    we recently bought purple potatoes as well. and they tasted so … potatoey. no idea, i think with the colour and all i was expecting something different. as they look so different and all :)
    but stunning to look at for sure. like your recipe a lot.

  25. Yum! And beautiful to boot! I made a pot pie with some purple potatoes for Easter and while the finished dish was pretty good, those leftovers were quite funky looking! ^,^
    Happy Spring! Today is the most beautiful day in NYC yet!!

  26. Ang

    You’d better pick up some of those long red onions! I am obsessed with torpedo onions. They’re my favorite part of spring. They make the best and prettiest savory tart filling, especially if you include the green parts. :)

  27. Ann

    Okay. Beyond stunning. When I first arrived here today – I thought I clicked the wrong site – bc I thought I was seeing a brilliant picture of purple flowers. Then I realized it was food. So beautiful, once again. I’ve never thought to try these, but now am intrigued. A possibly dumb question – do they make your tongue/teeth purple? ;)

  28. veeta

    You’ve outdone yourself, this is gorgeous! It looks delicious and the photography is giving La Tartine a run for her money.

  29. liz

    I love the bright colors in this dish (which you captured beautifully, as usual) … The purple and green together sort of makes me feel like spring, even if there are only potatoes in the greenmarket. I happened to be in NYC a few weeks ago, and you are so lucky to have such a wide selection!

  30. Jessica

    This looks amazing. But…peel them while still warm? Really? I’d love to make these, so tell me if you think it’s really necessary… Can purple potatoes be peeled pre-boiling? (Man – if I had a synonym for boil starting with a p, that would have been a fun alliteration.)

  31. I always thought that purple potatoes were from Central America, though I’m sure that much genetic fiddling has happened over the years in laboratories. I made a purple potato salad once and it was brilliant.

    Wonderful colors. Your photographs are magnificent.

  32. I’m going to wait for the purple potatoes! Nothing else will do, even if it’s just for the appearance. They are beautiful. I love crushing potatoes in this way too, it’s the perfect balabnce of much and toothsomeness.

  33. Wow! Those look awesome. I definitely thought purple potatoes involved food coloring, but it’s pretty cool to learn that there are actually purple ones out there!

  34. I made them tonight! They were FANTASTIC! I suspect even my finicky 11 year old will like them; particularly watching the color “bloom” when you add the lemon juice! My local co-op carries them almost all the time so I’m in luck!

  35. Nicole

    Update: I roused my purple potatoes from their extended slumber in the counter and whipped these up tonight. I didn’t measure anything, just seasoned to taste. I’m enjoying the clean flavors and the catchy colors. I’ll definitely turn to these again — perhaps as a conversation-piece side dish for a dinner party…

  36. Amy

    Oh, man, I LOVE purple potatoes. We have some great Adirondack Blues at our Farmer’s Market…they are delicious and gorgeous to look at, too. I love the pop of green parsley against the deep purple…lovely!

  37. Catharine

    Made these delicious potatoes tonight after shopping at our local farmer’s market. They were delicious and my plate of purple potatoes, fresh roasted asparagus from the Delta and wild salmon looked beautiful. The color scheme was amazing!!

  38. This looks delicious! I’m pretty sure that the Peruvians would argue that they were the first to discover the purple potato thousands of years ago!

  39. The purple potatoes look amazing, Deb. This is a great recipe because not only are is it beautiful it is also really high in antioxidants as you mentioned. If you let the potatoes cool a bit the starch in them crystallizes and sugar and insulin levels don’t spike up and the resistant starch seems to help with fat burning up to 24 hours later. Not bad for pretty potatoes. Take a look at if you are interested in more

  40. Bonnye F

    Hey ….I am just SMITTEN…..I grew purple potatoes in my garden this year ….My first ever hearing of or seeing them…cant wait to try the recipe.

  41. Lindsey

    For those who were curious, blue potatoes work great with this; they’re just not as brilliantly bright as Deb’s purple ones. But the lemon juice still spikes the color. We just tried this with some Blue Corolla potatoes. Ultimately, they ended up a nice combo of light purple, deep purple and pink. So even if you can’t track down purple ones, try some of the blue ones and you’ll still be delighted with the presentation and the flavor.

  42. ms.v.

    So, I thought I bought purple potatoes at the market the other day, came across this recipe, and was pumped. However, as I started to mash the potatoes, I realized that they were purple-SKINNED taters. The fantastic news is that this recipe tastes amazing with regular old new potatoes. In fact, it is now my go to recipe for cooking them! So, if you can’t find the purple ones, the white/red/purple skinned ones will do.

  43. 759beans

    OHmgtheseweresoooodelicious. i must say, i wasn’t expecting much beyond a gorgeous-looking dish, but the flavor was super. i bought the potatos from the farmer’s market on carroll the other day, not knowing what to do with them. googled “purple potatoes” and your recipe came up. since i trust you, i went for it. you did not let me down. thanks!

  44. Julie

    I just bought these at King Soopers. My 7 year old was worried that when we went to the self checkout we couldn’t find them in the list of produce on the computer screen and the two employees who tried to find them could not find them in order to ring me up. Finally, they just rang them up as new pototates but changed it to $2.99 a pound. When we were driving home my daughter said she would not eat something that the King Soopers people could not recognize and would not eat them until we googled them. So, while I was cooking, she went on google and searched to see if they were actually a food item and not just some weird thing someone might just have made up. I boiled them until tender, mashed them slightly with the side of a knife, and sauteed them with a little olive oil, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of granulated sugar in a saucepan until the potatoes were a little candied. The flavor and texture was very nice. It made for a different side dish for our supper. My 7 year old was pretty wary of the dark purple and was unwilling to taste.

  45. I love this kind of dish…take something common and reassuring like rustic mashed potatoes, then give it a makeover. The outcome, like a frumpy old friend with new makeup and hair, is fresh and uplifting! We all need a makeover every now and again.

  46. Kori

    This recipe is perfect. I made it a few weeks ago and two of us polished off the whole thing. LOVE the addition of scallions.

  47. purpleobsessive

    I love this recipe but where do you shop for produce? I’ve never seen purple potatoes before.I shop at trader joes.

    P.S. I live in queens so if it means driving to the big apple for purple potatoes it would certainly be worth it.

    1. deb

      I found these at the Greenmarket, which was about the only place I could find them a couple years ago. However, now I see them in mixed bags with red and yukon baby potatoes fairly often at Whole Foods but also other grocery stores. I think a mix of colors would be very pretty for this dish.

  48. Sarah

    I fixed mashed purple potatoes and made the mistake of peeling them before boiling – BIG MISTAKE! My beautiful dark purple potatoes faded out and by the time I mashed them they ended up looking like fluffy lavender-gray mold. NOT PRETTY. Anyway, I found out later that if you boil the potatoes with a couple tablespoons of vinegar, the acid will help to preserve the color. Using vinegar the second time around helped to produce wonderfully royal purple potatoes!

  49. Amani

    I was inspired to make this recipe for dinner tonight! I was home today so I cooked the potatoes and then several hours later came back to assemble the dish, cool. I was bummed that the potatoes didn’t brighten with the lemon juice. Maybe that has to happen when they are still warm?

    It is delicious and this is my first recipe to call for the fleur de sel my mother gave me as a gift. Thank you!

  50. Norma September 16, 2010
    Wow!!! What a beautiful picture! I can’t wait to try this recipe. My husband’s barber gave us some purple potatoes to plant early in the spring. Now thanks to Michael I have an outstanding recipe to taste and amaze my family with. Thank you Michael!

  51. Benita
    I am ashamed to say I have had the purple potatoes in my house for many weeks..luckily I used them before they rotted. I found your recipe and followed it except I didn’t have shallots on hand so I used some finely minced onion and garlic and I enjoyed nibbling the peel and tasting the purple potatoes straight out of the pot but I loved the olive oil and lemon and the other seasonings and then it hit me SKORDALIA….so there it is purple Skordalia…beautiful. I copied the URL for a skordalia recipe above so you can see what I mean. I like these warm but they work room temperature or cold too.

  52. Allie

    omg wow! yesssss. just made this dish and it was amazing! i only had 2 purple potatoes, and i think the other three were white ones- this turned out amazing and yes, the shallots made me tear up but the flavor is what really made me cry tears of joy! YUM

  53. Shawn

    I found purple potatos at Eataly on 23rd next to madison square park. I love that place and cant wait to try this recipe.

  54. suzanne

    omg, SO YUMMY! i got a bunch of these babies in my weekly organic delivery….YUMMMM i’ve already forwarded the link to family and friends!!! perfect for the holiday weekend!

  55. Megan

    Just got purple potatoes from my organic co-op, too, and they tagged your recipe for it. It was so delicious! I love the white pepper & lemon juice – really adds an interesting flavor.

  56. Tanner

    Just dug some purple potatoes up from the garden and made this – lovely. Exactly what I expect from you every time! Please, please, will the book be out in time for Christmas gifting?

  57. Kelsea

    I was looking for something to liven up our dinner routine, and I found this recipe. It was absolutely delicious, and my husband loved it! I didn’t have shallots so I used some minced white onion instead, and it still tasted fantastic. Excellent flavor, and the beautiful color of the potatoes really makes this an exciting yet simple dish.

  58. Cassie

    It’s probably horrible to suggest creating something *like* this dish (but not this one, I promise) using non-purple spuds, but if you happen to get your hands on some smallish yellow potatoes at any time, try boiling and peeling them up similarly, smashing them the same way, then drizzling with a bit of balsalmic vinegar, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a bit of sea salt and fresh groun black pepper. I know, it’s too easy to call it a recipe, even, but it’s pretty delightful.

  59. Law

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious! I added onion (red or spanish) by sautéing it in a little butter and I also added some rosemary. My family loved it! Thank you!

  60. Adrienne

    LOVE THEM! I had to modify a little — I can’t do raw shallots, so I sauteed in the olive oil til translucent and a bit browned. YUMMEH. Then I used a little lemon zest instead of juice (preference) an thyme (didn’t have parsley). SOOOOO GOOOOOD! I also tried in the other half of the batch to use “lemon thyme” and no extra lemon…that experiment was very delicious!

  61. Mspickle

    I know what I’m making tonight! I just harvested 5lbs. of purple potatoes from the garden and am chomping at the bit to cook them. Can’t wait!

  62. Amy

    Is there any particular reason that you peel the potatoes before smashing them? Personal preference? Texture? Flavor? I’m not terribly familiar with purple potatoes, so I don’t know if their skins taste funny, but I’m reluctant to sacrifice all those nutrients.

  63. Michelle Phillips

    Where I live we don’t often find the purple taters, but I have been able to locate them at the Kroger Signature store. They come in a 28 oz. bag and are located by the regular taters. I keep the skin on while cooking and eating. I microwave them till soft, add diced onion (any color) and drizzle with Italian dressing (with Balsamic vinegar). Most studies that I’ve read recommend nuking them as opposed to cooking other ways as this tends to let them keep their nutritional value a bit better.

  64. As always, you have the answer to my unusual produce conundrums! I have been pondering over what to do with these beautiful purple potatoes sitting on my counter for the last few days and this is perfect! Thanks, Deb!

    ps. Just came across a copy of the book at Anthropologie! Congratulations!

  65. Jill Mettler

    Just picked some out of my garden! Checkers have been selling them for the last 6-8 months (very reasonably priced at R9.99 a bag of mixed blue, red and yellow potatoes!) I let one bag go to waste and as it had started sprouting, through it in my veggie planter. Digging around I suddenly found a purple potato and to my delight after a little more digging found a whole lot more! Have been continuing to find a few every few weeks (why I was now looking up purple potato recipes!)
    They are very dry in texture but delish with smashings of butter or have even roasted them : )

  66. Gail

    Found this interesting recipe via chowhound. Until I adjusted my expectations (think potato salad rather than mashed potatoes) and could get used to the lemon and raw shallots, I was troubled. By the time we actually sat down to eat this – YUM! I was into it. Love the purple, too!

  67. Jennifer

    I went to my local farmer’s market today and bought large purple potatoes on a whim. When I got home, I googled “cooking purple potatoes” and it lead me to this recipe. They are delicious!!

  68. I love purple potatoes!!! I Bake them, Roast them, make mashed potatoes, steam them and I also do a Twice baked potato.
    For something more creative, Use the Purple potato and the Sweet Potato for a twice baked potato to get a great purple & orange color.

    I also have tried grated the purple and yellow potato and making Hash browns, looks weird but pretty at the same time……………..Enjoy!

  69. Beth

    I stumbled across this post while trying to discover how to keep the colour in purple majesty. I peeled them before boiling and ended up with blue mash. Is adding vinegar the only way to keep them purple? Can you taste the vinegar afterwards? What about roasting or baking? Do they retain purple colour then or do I need to ‘treat’ them in some way?

  70. Nancy Jones

    The purple or ‘Okinowan’ sweet potato is actually not related to the potato, but is in the morning glory family, and is native to the Americas. It was brought to Japan between 1492 and 1600. Th Polenesians brought it to the Hawaiian Islands where it grows well in our red volcanic soil like Japan’s. It is super rich. in antioxidants and tasts Ono!!!
    Nancy J.

  71. Fanodanes

    I made these today. The credited recipe was in my delivered organic produce box. The dish was delightful! I added more lemon and less olive oil than the recipe. Beautiful color! This was a new dish for me and my dh; he looked at it and says, “Looks like we are having Barney for lunch.” Sigh… :) We both enjoyed this. Thank you for the recipe.

  72. Emily

    made this last night but didn’t have shallots so I used some fresh green onions and the hubby and i both loved it – the lemon is fabulous! great recipe and we’ll use it many times I’m sure! thank you!!

  73. My grandfather always grew a purple potato called “cow horns” that were the very best baked potato I’ve ever eaten. They were purple on the outside and were white on the inside when baked. His were true heirloom seeds which were passed down in the family for many generatons.
    Since his passing I’ve been unable to find cow horns anywhere. If anyone knows where they may be found I’d love to know. He was from New Hampshire. The potat o looked just like a large cow horn, like two were connected together. You just have to try them once to love them!

  74. Clara

    Just made these tonight and really enjoyed them. They had a really Mediterranean feel to them. I like the idea of subbing green onions for shallots, since I have them on hand more often.

  75. Kathleen

    I made this with extra lemon juice and all the olive oil and without taking the skins off and it might be my favorite recipe of yours of all time! Which is saying a lot because I make the brown butter rice krispies, all the pasta salads, the zucchini with almonds, etc etc a few times a month each. And it even complies with Whole 30 (now that they allow potatoes)! You are a godsend and a national treasure! Everyone I know thinks I’m a fabulous cook and it’s all thanks to you. Off to eat more veggies as I dream about cheese, wine, and pasta…

  76. Jackie

    I did these in my electric pressure cooker(psi 11 at 5000′) I thought I was making these for potato salad – cubed and lightly salted, high pressure for 5 min, with a quick release to finish it off. They cooked up too soft for potato salad but I remembered this idea. They smashed up with my fork, added a little salt and butter, very tasty! Thanks!