6:00am

Sat November 9, 2013
The Garden Report

Rethinking The 'Boring Potato'

With the holidays almost here, potatoes are likely to find their way into your dinner recipes. It might surprise you that there are dozens of varieties that aren’t commonly found in the supermarket.

Tom Throgmorton discusses the merits of unique potato varieties for Weekend Edition.

"We get a little carried away at the farm," says Tom Throgmorton. "About ten years ago we planted a couple hundred spruce and pine trees. Now we have a couple thousand. Then it was garlic. We’re up to ten garlic varieties now."

Here are a few tips from Tom on the characteristics of some potato varieties that grow well in Colorado, in no particular order.

Sangre is a red potato for boiling and salads. The smooth red skin and bright white flesh stores for a long time.

Mountain Rose has red skin with red swirls in the flesh. It’s an attractive addition to salads. Purple Majesty has purple skin and purple flesh. It has the highest amount of antioxidants of any vegetable. It is great roasted or boiled, but not recommend as a mashed potato. It turns grey.

Purple Viking is a large potato with purple and pink swirls on its skin. The white flesh is creamy when baked.

Fingerling potatoes are best cooked over high heat roasted, grilled or fried. Their skin turns crispy and the flesh is soft. They are about the size and shape of a fat finger.

German Butterballs are small to medium sized round potatoes. Their tan skin helps them store for a long time. Butterballs are versatile for roasting or boiling. Either way their flesh turns out smooth and buttery.

How about a few more? Banana grows about four inches long with tan skin. Red Thumb matches its name and the Rose Finn has a pink skin and flavorful flesh.

A new favorite dish is to mix fingerling and Butterball varieties. Add a few fresh beets, carrots or parsnips. Then toss it all with olive oil, garlic and herbs. Tom recommends cooking them over high heat on the grill outside. That is the taste of autumn.

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