My first attempt at creating a Dr. Seuss style meal fell depressingly short, however. I sauteed the potatoes with peppers and onion and all the color drained out. Not fun! Undaunted, I did some research and discovered that I should have cooked the potatoes whole, with their skins on, and then hit them with a dose of acid - lemon juice or vinegar - to retain and boost their cartoonish color.
I found a simple recipe with shallots, parsley, and olive oil on New York magazine's Web site that looked perfect, which I've adapted here. (I figure if it's good enough for Smitten Kitchen, it's good enough for me!) And, in a happy accident, while perusing all things purple potato, I found a recipe for cheddar and sage biscuits that turned out to be the perfect companion for the potatoes.
It was just what the doctor ordered: salty purple potato and parsley with fruity olive oil and lemon; earthy sage and sharp bright cheddar enveloped by warm doughy biscuit. The flavors and colors of comfort!
Smashed Purple Potatoes
About 1 pound of purple potatoes, skin on, washed
2 large shallots, minced
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
4-6 good "glugs" of extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste (the original recipe calls for fleur de sel, but kosher salt would work. I recently splurged on some Himalayan pink salt and that's what I used.)
white pepper, to taste
3 tbsp parsely, chopped
Boil the potatoes in well salted boiling water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Peel them while still warm. In a large bowl, smash them with a fork or potato masher, leaving chunks. Gently fold in the shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Adjust for seasoning and finish with the parsley.
Cheddar and Sage Biscuits
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 tsp baking powder
10-15 sage leaves, chopped
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
I served my potatoes and biscuits with Field Roast vegetarian roast. I don't care if you are the craziest carnivore that ever chewed on a bone, you really should try this stuff. It's made from beautifully seasoned artisinal grains, not some pale chewy imitation of meat. (And no, they don't give me free stuff or pay me, though I wish they would!)