It feels a lot like the dyed Easter Egg hunts I loved as a kid, and staged for our daughter when she was little.Â
The building anticipation as you seek something cunningly hidden â€“ something special and pretty â€“ followed by the delicious thrill of finding each brightly-hued egg, and the satisfaction of adding it to the growing pile in your basket.
This must be what it feels like to be a pirate who finds buried treasure, too.
Iâ€™m talking about digging potatoes, something I canâ€™t wait to do this afternoon.Â But not just any old potatoes â€“ purple potatoes.Â
Several years ago, my eyes opened to the wonderfully (and genetically) diverse world of heirloom plants.Â Essentially, these are open-pollinated plant cultivars with long histories, many of them endangered because they fell out
of favor as the popularity of commercial hybrid cultivars boomed.Â
Iâ€™ve always been a fan of potatoes, but now love them even more as I continue to discover different heirloom varieties.Â The first year of my heirloom conversion, I grew a fantastic dusky purple potato with creamy-white flesh called the Purple Viking.Â
The next season, I planted Viking seed potatoes Iâ€™d saved, and added super-productive All Blues, which shimmered a gorgeous deep purple on the outside after washing, and once cut open, were a startling purple-blue through and through.Â
Today, Iâ€™ll be searching for All Blue potatoes, as well as this yearâ€™s new variety:Â slender French Fingerlings with red skin, creamy-yellow flesh, and a buttery texture when cooked.
Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ll be making with my buried treasure:
Garlic Roasted Potatoes
(adapted from Greek Meze Cooking, Tapas of the Aegean, by Sarah Maxwell)
â€¢Â About 2 lbs. large heirloom potatoes
â€¢Â Â½ cup olive oil
â€¢Â Â½ cup lemon juice
â€¢Â 2 tsp. dried oregano
â€¢Â 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
â€¢Â salt and pepper to taste
â€¢Â Â½ cup water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.Â Cut potatoes into small wedges and put in large shallow baking dish.Â Stir together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add to the potatoes.Â Toss to coat.Â
Bake at the top of the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour until the potatoes are crisp outside and soft inside.Â Stir several times during cooking to rearrange potatoes, and add a little more water if needed.
Gotta go dig,Â