U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let's eat potatoes!

The time came! First fingerling potatoes are ready to be eaten!

The plants still have green leaves and the potatoes are still growing. But, I like to take several of them from each plant while the skin is thin. I move aside the soil, choose the bigger potatoes, pick them up and move the soil back to let the rest of them continue to grow. I checked regular red potatoes. Probably, some of them can be gathered and eaten in a week or two.

Kitchen garden

As I wrote in the post Back To Potatoes! , I didn't plan to grow potatoes. It's just happened that we had fingerling and red potatoes in our pantry that weren't eaten in time and started to sprout.

The fingerling potatoes in the raised bed got so tall! Almost as tall as me! I've never seen potato plants so tall and was afraid that all the energy went to the green tops. It looks like everything is OK. Recipes for fingerling potatoes can be found on the Internet. I cooked them in a shallow Pyrex dish with some water and olive oil (very little) in the oven at 400 degrees. Sprinkled with salt and black pepper. When ready, added some butter, chopped dill and green onions. Served with grilled salmon. It was tasty! I like young potatoes with thin skin.

This is what says about eating potato skin:"... the skin of a potato has various benefits. ... it is known for its high fiber content which is essential in a healthy diet... ...they help in preventing cancer and heart disease since they have antioxidants in them. The potato as well as its skin provide a good source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium".

As I promised, the following is the recipe for cooking potatoes that I got from my friend Voldemar from Russia (Ladies, you might want to check his last post to see a charming incredible little purse he is making!)
It is said that the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin liked his potatoes cooked this way.

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (June 6 1799–February 10 1837) was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern literature. Pushkin pioneered the use of speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Russian writers (Wikipedia).

Choose small smooth potatoes, clean them and DON'T remove the skin. Put them in a clay pot with previously warmed ghee*. Bake the dish in the oven or on hot charcoals. Before serving, add sour cream and chopped greens (dill, parsley, etc.)* What is Ghee?

"Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a large pot until all water has boiled off and protein has settled to the bottom. The cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off to avoid disturbing the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Unlike butter, ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and remains moisture-free. "(Wikipedia)

Well, Pushkin lived long ago. For those of us who don't have a traditional Russian stove, clay pots and ghee, a regular oven, Pyrex (or other oven-proof dishes) and regular butter can be used.

Traditional Russian stove. The image source:

For a pound of potatoes, take about 8 oz of butter. Melt it in a dish and add potatoes. Don't salt. Cook til it's ready. Nothing was said about the temperature of the oven and time. Voldemar knows when it's ready by smell. You can use a fork to check the readiness. Try to not overcook. He also made his own addition to the recipe. When potatoes are almost ready, he adds the following well stirred mixture: glass of milk, teaspoon of flour, handful of finely chopped parsley, pinch of salt. After that, he lets it stay in the oven for 5-10 minutes more. Voldemar uses a clay pot which he fills with water and places in a hot oven for an hour before starting to cook. This prevents the potatoes from getting too dry.

Bon Appetite!

Hello people!

While she is bragging about her potatoes, I am munching on her roses, phlox and bean, grape and strawberry leaves! Yum!


  1. We called them "new potatoes", the fresh young ones, with the thin skin. We cooked them in wok, oven or french. I know dozens fo recipes with potatoes!

    Bon apetit!

  2. Hi Silvia! Haven't seen you for a long time! They are called new potatoes in the U.S., too. Do you know how are they called in Russia? Young potatoes! More romantic, hah?

  3. A happy accident indeed your potatoes.

    I like new potatoes boiled in salted water with a big sprig of mint, then after draining toss them in butter.

  4. Tatyana, I was reading all your posts, but haven't the time to comment. My daughter stays all day long in the garden and at night I am trying to write, read and building a business. :) Staying in touch!

  5. Tatyana, young potatoes sounds like I'm eating the young or something:) Not so romantic really but they look pretty good.

  6. I love fingerling potatoes but have never grown them, didn't know they were tall. The recipe looks excellent; I think with really good fresh potatoes you don't want to do much to them, just enhance their lovely flavor. That traditional Russian stove reminds of me of the stove I saw years ago at some relatives' farm in Sweden.

  7. AnonymousJuly 10, 2009

    Love the picture of your garden--wow! Are those Foxgloves in the background? Beautiful. The potatoes sound wonderful! Happy eating. Oh, P.S. That naughty deer! :)

  8. Hi Rob! I never cooked potatoes with mint! It sounds good! So-o- French!
    Hi Tina! You made me laugh! It's just language differences. In Russian, the word young can be applied to live and not-live things. For example, young leaves, young moon, etc.
    Pomona, I'm glad you stopped by! It's interesting about a stove. Of course, this one is not so shabby. Ordinary people used to have a much simpler version!
    Hello Miss Daisy! I'm glad you like my foxgloves. This particular plant is on the back of the kitchen garden. It came there itself, I never planted it. Did you see my foxgloves in the previous posts? They are every where in my garden. As for the deer, I sprayed some plants recently and hope it is the end of my suffering!

  9. Whew! Thanks for the info. I was not sure how you'd take my comment but I see you get it.

  10. Tatyana, the potatoes remind me of a russian potato soup that I had tasted in a western cafe a long time ago. It was very delicious and I liked it very much. By the way, do deers really walk into your gardens in the US? The deer is so cute.

  11. Just look at that cute fawn!

  12. Hi Autumn Belle! They DO come to the gardens, day or night! Yesterday, a baby came to my neighbors garden at 4 p.m., went to their back porch, then to the next garden, ate two rose blooms there. If not my boys, who saw him and chased him away, he would come to me! They are not afraid of people at all. They are not afraid of my dog because they see that he is on the leash and can not run.

    Dear Retired One, they are cute! If they ate grass, not my plants, they would be even cuter!

  13. Ха, вот с мятой я тоже не пробовал :-) Надо будет рискнуть:-) Даже не представляю себе вкус - ой, мамочка:-) Да, моя русская печь, конечно, не такая красавица, как у тебя на фото, да и старенькая уже, но функционирует пока :-) Мой друг - печник, он кладёт великолепные печи, причём совершенно фантастических конфигураций. Как-нибудь, непременно тебе покажу его работы. Так вот сейчас у нас популярны печи, которые не штукатурятся (про изразцы я и вовсе молчу), а кладутся из качественного красного кирпича или декорируются камнем, как и камины. Я для своего дома хочу красную печь, такие они у него получаются красавицы - всякий раз любуюсь.

  14. Вольдемар, ну вот опять: я в это время твой ответ на комментарии читала, а ты в это время мне комментарий писал! Меня надо обследовать на предмет наличия встроенного инопланетянами радара. Сегодня перебирали почту, пришел счет за телефон. Я про себя сказала: 46 долларов. Муж открыл конверт: 46 дол. с центами. Только почему-то в лотерею я не выигрываю! Безобразие. Недовстроили чего-то. Про печи. Надо же, кладут их еще! Здорово, не ушли в прошлое. Ты же имеешь ввиду печи, не камины? Очень любопытно будет посмотреть фотографии. А я другого снимка не нашла в сети, пришлось этот. Про мяту - это да, чего-то того... То лягушки у них в меню, теперь вот картошка с мятой! Я тоже об этом думала и даже пожевала листик мелиссы, когда была в своем огородике. Ее пришлось зажевать зеленым горошком.
    А олень-то тебе как? Мне сестра смешно написала о нем - ну вот, а говорят, что у нас в России медведи за автобусами бегают! Этот нахал не мой, несколько дней назад часах в 3-х от дома щелкнула его, но вчера видела нашего, у соседей. Все они на одно лицо. Спасибо тебе, всегда рада твоим визитам.

  15. Tatyana,

    Ghee removes the fat from the butter and also allows for cooking at higher temps without burning. It does have a different taste than butter. Ghee is good stuff I make it when I can for my Indian dishes.

    We tried planting the same fingerling potatoes and only one clump came up.

  16. AnonymousJuly 10, 2009

    Hi Tatyana~~ I had to laugh. I been known to have that same bag of fingerlings in my pantry. Costco, right? The other day I bought fingerlings from a local farmer. Skin on, chopped with a bit of olive oil. Into the oven for an hour and voila...ambrosia. The fresh are FAR, FAR superior to the boxed and bagged varieties.

    Your little fawn. Adorable little stinker isn't he/she?

  17. Randy, you are unique! I doubt that many people make ghee these days! As for your potatoes, did they all have "eyes"? Did they start to sprout? Maybe, someone ate them!

    Grace, it is funny!Yes, they are from Costco. Since they are so small and their skin needs to be peeled (because they are not SO fresh), a person should be very patient and have a lot of time to finish that bag!
    As for the animal, you are very diplomatic, I would say!

  18. Congratulations! I love potatoes, and if I lived in a climate that's better suited, I would surely grow them. In Ecuador, I had quinoa with small potatoes, vegetables, and cheese, still one of my favorite dishes.

  19. Beautiful garden!Congratulations!

  20. I have to try growing some fingerlings next year. I really love them. The pic of the fawn is so cute! -Jackie

  21. LOL!!! Cute but pesky aren't we!!

  22. Fresh little fingerlings are so nice. Glad you were able to plant some and get a nice harvest. (I knew what Ghee was !!)
    As for that deer......... >:-(

  23. Great potato recipes! I'll have to try some of these idesas soon. I'm growing French Fingerling potatoes with red skin and yellow/pink flesh, and they too make a very tall plant. We've sampled a few potatoes from them, but are trying to let most of them grow big.

  24. Town Mouse, that dish sounds delicious although I can't even pronounce its name! What did you do in Ecuador?

    Thank you Ana-Maria!

    Jackie, it worth trying. The best thing is that it's so easy! Just remember not to plant them near tomatoes!

    Hi Lynn! More pesky than cute! That stinky thing that I sprayed on my plants to protect them is very expensive!

    Janet, thank you!

    Entangled, thanks! I don't want to let them grow big because I don't know where to keep all of them. Where are you going to store your potatoes?

  25. So fingerlings are "new potatoes" - Ha I thought they were a different sort. Like "King Edwards" say. (In the UK we bought potatoes with royal names!) - We used to eat tender new potatoes from my grandad's garden with mint - not sweet mint. It was tart and soaked in vinegar - hmmmm. Simple heaven. I don't think the gophers would let me have any potatoes here though.

  26. Hi Country Mouse! This is what they say about new potatoes: "Immature potatoes harvested during the spring or summer are called new potatoes, or sometimes creamers or fingerlings. New potatoes are not a separate variety of potato, but younger versions of other varieties".
    Mint soaked in vinegar?! Wow! It is VERY interesting!

  27. I had never heard of fingerlings. And I didn't know new potatoes were just that. New. It makes sense that they would be more delicious since they are tender and young. I have never grown potatoes but maybe next year since yours look so delicous. That fawn is so pretty but I am sure she looses her charm when she is eating all your bounty. The picture of your dog at the top of your blog is gorgeous. I have wanted a german shepherd for a long time. Maybe my next dog. Right now we have an English Setter. He is quite a character.

  28. Hi what an interesting post. Not too keen on Bambi and his friends though these days.

  29. You really can't beat a good new potato can you?!

    I love mine boiled in salt water and then smothered with real butter and chopped chives! Yum!

    Love the little Deer too! We don't have them here so it's great to see, even if they are slowly eating everything in sight!

    Ryan (

  30. Great post! I love new potatoes too. Your kitchen garden is beautiful.

  31. Never hear of fingerling potatoes but then again...I'm not the cook in the family.

    Why is everyones garden so tidy ?
    Love your kitchen garden !!

    Adorable fawn.

  32. Yummy for the potatoes and for the snack the fawn was having. Your kitchen garden is so lovely...gail

  33. Tatyana, I am still waiting to dig my fingerling potatoes. Mine were also some which had sprouted on my kitchen counter, so I am happy to see them growing.

  34. I have to agree with everyone else about how nice your kitchen garden is Tatyana. It's almost too pretty to dig in (for those potatoes). I haven't tried fingerling potatoes before ~ I love a potato of any kind tho so I bet I would like them. I do tend to favor the thin skin ones and I like to eat the skin too. The potato has been a staple in the human diet for a very long time, hasn't it? Thank goodness you have a good sense of humor about that little fawn munching on your flowers!

  35. Tatyana, that is a very good question about where am I going to store my potatoes! I want a root cellar! Or maybe I should just eat them all before they get big.

  36. My oh my, those potatoes look nice! I surely hope my cloth pots full of them grow half as nicely as yours did. The fawn is beautiful too!

  37. Tatyana, hello. Not too early to dig for certain, as my husband went to the garden yesterday so we could have a few for dinner.

  38. How precious - and that is exactly what it is saying!!! LOL One of our does came through with twins. Cute - but now I have 2 more mouths to feed!!!

  39. Hi Tatyana

    I loved the info on the potatoes, but what I loved even more was the site of your kitchen garden!!!:-)


  40. So many ways to enjoy new potatoes (and I think the fingerlings are a special elongated form). Here are some of mine:

    - boiled with mint, then dabbed with butter

    - boiled with salt herbs, a French Canadian concoction of chopped parsley, summer savory, onions carrots and, of course, salt that's used to flavour soups, stews and veggies

    - tossed with olive oil and fresh rosemary, then roasted and topped with large grained kosher or pickling salt when fresh out of the oven

    - simply steamed or boiled with salt, doused with butter and chives

    Now I think I need a snack!


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