We may take our potatoes for granted: so many varieties are available at area grocery stores and farmers markets. But for many people of Irish descent, the lowly spud represents a hearty food staple that kept their forbears alive in the 19th century. The crop was relatively easy and cheap to grow in the country’s wet, rocky soil, and potatoes offered important nutritive value. When the potato famine hit in the mid-1800s, a love for the starchy foodstuff emigrated with the waves of Irish who settled in this country. And that enjoyment of potatoes continues today, particularly alongside corned beef and cabbage during a traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Try this Culinary Institute of America recipe for fingerling potatoes “tattooed” with sage to pay tribute to the Emerald Isle’s passion for wearing — and eating — green. In fact, bring on the green beer, too. Irish eyes will certainly smile at your table.
Makes four small or eight appetizer-sized servings
12 small fingerling potatoes
24 fresh sage leaves
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil in two inches water. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
When cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise.
Press one sage leaf onto cut side of each potato half. Pour oil into shallow roasting pan. Place potatoes in pan, cut sides down, in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.
Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.