Since we were out of town for a long weekend and not hosting the Seder this year we had to scramble when we got back. Since I was not going to go through the elaborate preparation I would normally go for the Seder, I still wanted a festive, yet delicious meal midweek on Passover. One staple item I got before leaving was purple potatoes. Not only will it sate cravings of starches for lack of bread but will also elevate a quick mid week meal and a holiday meal.
In the past I would boil these with skin on as I do regular potatoes with garlic and salt. Peel and smash them with the softened garlic cloves, add olive oil, salt, fresh black pepper and fresh rosemary leaves and serve. Only thing the color dulls. When I googled to find a new recipe I came across a brilliant one by Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony. It has lemon in it. It revitalizes the color to a gorgeous deep purple. It also uses white pepper for a more subtle dimension.
I knew the purple potato originated in Peru but upon further research I found it fascinating that all potatoes were originated in the Andes. I also was surprised to learn that potatoes were introduced to most of the world by the Spanish conquerors of the Inca Empire in the second half of the 16th century. That late of a date is absolutely mind boggling. Upon further reading here I was also surprised to learn that European settlers introduced these tubers to North America with one exception of wild variety who made it in from South America to Texas.
The purple variety, might be referred to as blue variety, and the Purple Majesty in particular, cross bred in the US, are richer in antioxidantanthocyanin. Richly concentrated as pigments, anthocyanin present in berries, such as blueberries, and purple potatoes are known for their health benefits in cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes and bacterial infections. Please read here for further breakdown of health benefits found in cancer research.
Hard boiled eggs, deviled or egg salad and horseradish on matza complements this purple potato dish on the side. Somehow all these flavors with the potato mesh well together.