Purple Potatoes and Rosemary, Three Ways

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Potatoes and Rosemary Three Ways

When I saw these gorgeous purple potatoes at the Farmer’s Market, I knew I had to have them.  Not only are they delicious – they taste like most new potatoes, with a touch more earthiness – but they’re bursting with health benefits:  that brilliant purple color is due to an antioxidant called anthocyanin.  This antioxidant is a large part of the reason that blackberries, blueberries, purple cabbage, purple kale (do you sense a pattern?) are good for you, and has been shown to boost immunity, lower blood pressure and even help prevent cancers.  I also picked up some rosemary, because rosemary and potatoes are friends of the sandwich-splitting, three-am car ride variety.  Rosemary, like all herbs, is a health superstar:  beyond general immune boosting, it’s known for its circulatory and respiratory benefits, making it wonderful for people with asthma, allergies or diabetes (if I have a cold or allergies, I’ll often make rosemary tea and inhale the steam through my nose and deep into my lungs).

I came home intending to top a caramelized onion-walnut pizza, and that’s exactly what I did.  The recipe is adapted from pizza I had at Jim Lahey’s Co. in New York City, one of my favorite pizza spots in Manhattan, and it’s a show-stopper:  the onions caramelize for an hour until they’ve developed a deep and fragrant sweetness, before being blended with walnuts and sea salt.  The three ingredients somehow come together to be far greater than the sum of their parts, creating a pizza sauce that’s savory and sweet, earthy and rich, and completely delicious.  I spread it in a thick layer on a store-bought rye sourdough (low in gluten, and fermented for maximum digestibility) pizza dough, then topped it with the purple potatoes, sliced thin on a mandolin, rosemary and, after baking for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees, a drizzle of olive oil.  The pizza was divine – as equally wonderful as a vegan appetizer option at a cocktail party as it is for a family dinner.

Potatoes and Rosemary Three Ways

Caramelized Onion – Walnut Spread (vegan, vegetarian, paleo // great for pizza, spreading on bread, or even dipping crudités in)

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp of ghee or high heat oil of choice

3/4 cup raw walnuts

4 tbsp water

Caramelize onions with ghee at low-medium heat for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Pulse in a food processor with water and walnuts until mostly smooth, with a few chunks for texture.

But – I still had potatoes left.  I still had rosemary left.  I was loathe to shove them into the abyss of my kitchen cabinets, so I decided to keep going.  A gratin, I decided, eyeing my already-mandolined potatoes lying flat on the cutting board!  I layered them in a small baking dish with chopped garlic, parmesan, rosemary, sea salt, and a few pieces of grass-fed butter, drizzling a bit of olive oil and a splash of cashew milk before baking it at 400 degrees until the parmesan on top was golden brown and bubbly.  The resulting gratin was fabulous – gluten free, low in lactose (grass-fed butter and cheese have much lower levels than milk, and are, as a result, much easier to digest), vegetarian and bursting with antioxidants.  These could also be made ahead of time and popped into the oven, making them an excellent dinner party dish.

Potato Rosemary Gratin

But!  I still had more purple potatoes and rosemary left!  I sighed, rolled up my sleeves, and consulted my boyfriend.

“Fry ’em,” he said.

“French fries?” I asked.  “Potato chips?”

“Whatever,” he said.  “Anything’s better fried.”

Potatoes and Rosemary Three Ways

 

I heated up a few tablespoons of coconut oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan and be about a half an inch deep) in a sauce pan, waited until it sizzled when I put a slice in, and tossed in all of the leftover potato slices.  I cooked them on medium-high heat until they turned golden brown, then used a slotted spoon to transfer them to a metal bowl, where I tossed them with the residual rosemary and a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper.  I wasn’t even sure frying this way would work – I’ve always been shy about the possibility of burning my face off/my kitchen down with deep frying, and as such, don’t have a ton of experience with the practice.  But this method – which I’d call a happy medium between deep frying and pan frying – worked brilliantly – the resulting chips were perfectly crisp, lightly sweet from the coconut oil and so so delicious.  Keep them in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 – 4 days – or do as I did, and eat them all in one sitting, then sit satisfied that there are – finally – no potatoes left.

// all recipes can be made with any kind of small, skin-on potato

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