Everyone in my family loves potatoes – although we do have varying opinions on what constitutes the perfect potato dish. For me, this is unequivocally my favorite potato dish and I serve it often. I do, however, vary the herb mix. For those occasions when I don’t have fresh herbs on hand, I simply use finely chopped lemon zest and coarsely ground pepper. Or if you only have a few sprigs of parsley in the fridge, this works well too.
I have more success with brown-skinned rather than red-skinned new potatoes so that’s what I usually buy. If Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes are available, I opt for these.
Here’s a trick that’ll simplify mealtime preparations. When preparing boiled potatoes, bring them to a boil about 45 to 60 minutes before you intend to serve them. Then cover the pot, let boil for a few minutes and turn off the heat. As the potatoes sit in the covered pot, they continue to cook and by the time you’re ready to serve them, they should be tender. (Check the potatoes along the way. If they’re still a bit firm as you get closer to mealtime, bring them to a boil a second time, turn off heat and let them continue sitting for a few minutes until done.)
About 25 to 30 small new potatoes (about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter)
1 to 2 tbsp Chopped fresh herbs: thyme, lemon thyme, summer savory, chives, tarragon, Italian parsley or a mixture
1 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Scrub potatoes and place in saucepan. Add cold water to cover and season with salt to taste. (Potatoes need salt to bring out their flavor, so don’t be too shy with the salt.) Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered, until tender. (If time permits, bring to boil about an hour ahead of time, as described in the introduction.)
Drain water from pot and return pot to burner. Place on low heat and gently shake pot just until water has evaporated. Then add a dollop or two of butter (you don’t need a lot; just enough to lightly coat everything), chopped herbs, lemon zest, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Place cover on pot and carefully and gently turn pot upside down, then upside right a few times until potatoes are well coated.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.