Many of us grew up with fairly few potato varieties. Russets for baked potatoes, Yukon golds for mashed, and maybe some new potatoes in a summertime potato salad. But the advent of local farming and the increasing popularity of farmer’s markets and CSAs means that these are far from the only potato varieties available today. These five potato varieties are some of our favorites; learn how to use them in your favorite potato recipes.
1. Purple Peruvian
Purple potatoes are far more common in certain South American countries than they are here, where they are a rarity. But don’t be afraid of cooking purple Peruvian! They have a medium-starchy texture, making them very versatile. Try them in recipes that highlight their beautiful color, like fork-crushed purple potatoes
If you can’t find them near you, try ordering purple Peruvian potatoes online.
2. Red Rose
Red rose potatoes are waxy potatoes with a beautiful red skin. They’re delicious in mashed potatoes, holding their texture more than their floury cousins to give you a chunkier texture. Because they hold their shape well when cooked — and thanks to their pretty red skin — they’re great for roasted potato recipes as well as potato salads where their color can shine through, like our potato salad with artichokes, feta and olive relish.
3. Russian Banana
Russian banana potatoes are fingerlings with a waxy texture and golden flesh. They have a slight nuttiness about them that is only highlighted by roasting. These roasted Russian bananas with sage diverge from your run-of-the-mill roasted potato recipe, and pan-roasted Russian fingerling potatoes with sage and bacon add the delicious flavor of smoked pork to the dish. Our roasted fingerlings with herb-lemon yogurt add freshness to the starchy tuber.
Charlotte potatoes are a classic, white or yellow variety with a creamy texture. They hold up well to boiling, and they are particularly delicious in potato salads. In fact, in the UK, Charlottes are often referred to as “salad potatoes.” Because of their relatively mild flavor, they’re quite good at playing second fiddle, as in this roast salmon with Charlotte potatoes recipe or in our grilled salmon, potatoes and asparagus.
5. Adirondack Blue
Adirondack blue potatoes are another variety that bring color as well as flavor to the plate. Like the Peruvian purple, Adirondack blues are best used in recipes that highlight their natural color. A blue potato salad with lemon basil vinaigrette is just the thing to highlight their color in the summertime. While you wait for basil to come into season, try a twice-baked version with leeks.
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