Potatoes are the unsung hero of any pantry. The possibilities for turning this ruddy little blob of starch into something amazing seem to be endless and just about every culture uses them in any number of ways. Potatoes are both a min course option and the perfect side dish. They can be presented as the star of the show or as a minor player on an ingredients list. You can baked ’em, boil them, mash some up, smash the heck out of ’em, puree those suckers, dice them, fry them, and slice those spuds into chips, all with excellent results. But my personal favorite for preparing them lately is to very simply grill them off. why? Because grilled potatoes rock.
There’s something to be said for simplicity and depth of flavor. For allowing the ingredient to sing its own praises in its own voice without being muddled by other notes or melodies. This, my dear readers is the potatoes summertime opus. Crisp and fluffy all at the same time, with a hint of sweetness to all of the earthiness that you would expect from this humble tuber.
The next time you fire up the grill, consider inviting your local potato to the party. You’ll be glad you did!
- 4 medium russet potatoes OR 8 medium red potatoes OR 6 medium gold potatoes
- Olive oil, enough to coat the potatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse potatoes well and place in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover potatoes by about 1 inch. Toss in a few good pinches of salt.
- Place pot on cook top over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until potatoes are about 3/4 done. (a paring knife should be able to pierce the potato, but there should still be a fair bit of resistance.) Remove potatoes from water and allow to cool. (This may be done up to two days in advance. Simply store the potatoes in the refrigerator in a zip-top bag until needed.)
- Allow potatoes to come to room temperature before grilling. Using a very sharp knife, slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick rounds , rinsing the blade under warm water between slices (This will prevent tearing of the skin.) Drizzle with olive oil and grill approximately 3 minutes per side, or until just slightly golden brown in color. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
- (Hint! These are great at room temp as well, just use a bit more salt.)
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
There are actually infinite possibilities here. If you’d like you can slice and marinate the potatoes over night to get a richer flavor. Brush them with infused olive oil or your favorite vinaigrette while on the grill. Slice ’em longways to form a base for something else (potato as bruschetta?) Top them with some micro greens or sautéed mushrooms. The sky really is the limit here.
Do you have any ideas? If so, I’d love to hear them.