I love fingerling potatoes. Their small size and elongated shape just scream cute, and since their skin is thin and tender, they look and taste great in dishes that use them whole. But besides being adorable, they cook up soft and creamy, without falling apart or splitting like new potatoes or Yukon golds, in less time than it takes to cook most other potatoes.
Fingerlings make great oven fries–just cut them in half lengthwise, arrange them on a baking sheet spritzed with canola oil, and bake them at 400F until they’re done–but I’ve found that braising in a seasoned broth works really well with them; they seem to suck the flavors right up, resulting in potatoes that are seasoned all the way through, not just on the surface.
In this side dish, I braised the fingerlings in a broth flavored lightly with tomato and saffron and heavily with smoked paprika. (Saffron is expensive, and since it lends a very light taste to this dish, you can leave it out or, if you like, reduce the paprika to about half, allowing the saffron a little more room to shine.) Once the potatoes were done, I let the broth cook down to a thick, smoky sauce that’s punctuated by the flavor of fresh oregano.
Served with sundried tomato and basil omelettes (made easily in my new George Foreman grill) and a crisp, green salad, these rich-tasting potatoes were absolutely delicious. E declared them “kid-friendly, even if they’re not French fries.”
Fingerling Potatoes Braised with Smoked Paprika
- olive oil spray only if needed
- 1 small red onion minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste I used double-strength, but regular will do
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch saffron optional
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves optional
Wash the potatoes and cut in half any that are larger than the others.
If necessary, spray a Dutch oven lightly with olive oil (not needed for non-stick cookware). Over medium-high heat, sauté the red onion for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, spices, and potatoes and toss to coat. Stir in the vegetable broth, add salt to taste, and cover. Cook on low for about 25 – 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove the cover and increase the heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the broth has cooked down to a thick sauce. Add the oregano and toss the potatoes to coat with sauce. Enjoy!
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