I've yet to meet the poor soul who isn't in love with potatoes. For centuries, they have provided sustenance for the stomach and comfort for the soul. Today, we are lucky to have many varieties to choose from to not only feed us, but also inspire our meals.
There is the purple peruvian with its intriguing violet hue, to the now most popular yukon gold, which I suspect has all but replaced the traditional Idaho baking potato. One of my favorites is the fingerling potato. It is smaller and tastier than the larger potato and comes in several varieties-Rose Finn, Russian Banana, French Fingerling, and LaRatte. The most popular and easily found is the Russian Banana fingerling. It has a yellow skin and more uniform shape, much like that of a small, fat sausage. When cooked, its texture is creamy and soft. I love fingerlings not only because they are irresitably cute, but because they are easy to use and cook in no time. I either cut them into 1/4 inch circles and boil them or cut them lenthwise in half and roast them with fresh rosemary, garlic and olive oil. They can be mashed, baked or roasted to make a delicious side dish, a summer salad, or as an ingredient in a classic salad niciose.

One of my favorite ways to prepare fingerlings {besides the classic and always delicious mash with loads of butter and cream} is to boil them and toss them with a good extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grating of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese.

Here is my simple recipe:

1 large handful of fingerling potatoes
1 Tablespoon sweet cream butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese {worth the splurge on this one!}
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the fingerlings into circles and boil just until tender and easily pierced with a knife.
Drain the potatoes and place in a medium bowl. Gently toss with the butter and olive oil, just until coated.
Sprinkle on the cheese, then taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

It is just that simple and delicious!

Buon Appetito!

Alisa Barry Copyright 2007

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