Many years ago my potato world was pretty limited.
Baking or Russet and red, sometimes gold is all I knew growing up. A lot of people I imagine are the same way.
There is more to three options in the potato world. I hear more and more people asking for purple potatoes. Not only are these potatoes beautiful both inside and out, they are good for you. They are purple of course!
The popularity of purple potatoes has increase even more ever since Dr. Oz claimed that will help lower your blood pressure. Whether that is true or not I am excited none the less that purple spuds are making it to more American's dinner tables.
That leads me to a question. Do we know how to cook purple potatoes?
What is the best way to prepare them? If you have made them what ways have you made them?
Can You Eat the Skin of Purple Potatoes?
I did not peel the potatoes for any method - I don't feel it's necessary. The skins are full of nutrients too. The skin isn't tough. The only time I don't eat eat the skin is if baked them whole in the oven.
What Do Purple Potatoes Taste Like?
Before we talk about cooking with them, let's talk about what purple potatoes taste like. The flavor is similar to a red potato. I don't find them to be much different. Side by side you can taste a different but it's not extreme.
What is the Best Way to Cook Purple Potatoes?
I decided to do a little experiment. I cook purple potatoes three different ways - roasted, boiled, and pan fried or sauteed.
Boiled Purple Potatoes
Let's start with the easiest method - boiling. You can boil them with the skins on, give them a good washing first.
The skin is similar in texture to a red skinned potatoes. You can cut them in half if they are too large to cook quicker. I covered them with enough water, brought them to a boil, then reduced to a simmer until tender.
Problems - Keep in mind there are multiple varieties of purple potatoes, so some may behave differently. The ones I bought from the farmer's market held up really well.
Ones I have gotten from the grocery store in the past have become more easily waterlogged and the color on the inside turned a not as pretty little purple or blue.
If you are going to boil them watch them carefully, so you don't overcook them. You can make mashed potatoes out of them, unless you have a variety that stays as dark as the ones I cook last were, the color of the mashers might be a little unappetizing but otherwise find to eat.
Roasted Purple Potatoes
I roasted or bake the purple spuds in a 375 degree oven until done through. Again no peeling necessary. I cut them in half to speed up the cooking time, but you can bake them whole as well, just make sure to poke holes in them to let out some steam.
Problems - If you are looking to replace your russet baking potato with a purple, you will be disappointed. The Russet is unique in it's ability to bake up nice and fluffy. I do still bake them sometimes as they are just so beautiful that way and I still enjoy them just not as much as a Russet.
Sauteed Purple Potatoes
Of the three methods this was my favorite.
I quartered the potatoes and put them in a frying pan with oil, salt, and pepper. Set them over medium high heat and cooked them until browned on each side. They brown a lot better this way than in the oven.
You may find that you need to turn the heat down some if the begin to brown too fast or start to burn. Serve them up as it, or with ketchup, especially if it's homemade (I will save that for another post!)
Problems - Didn't have any real problems with this method - which is why it's my favorite. Just again be careful that you brown them, not burn them.
Whatever way you decide to cook purple potatoes, I hope you enjoy them. Not only for their taste but for the health benefits.
Anything that dark in color is loaded with antioxidant phytochemicals, that will help ward off all kinds of nasty things that your body comes into contact with.