I almost feel silly sharing a recipe so simple with you, but after trying salt potatoes for the first time at my friend’s cottage on Lake Ontario last month, I knew I had to post it. Apparently salt potatoes are a thing in upstate New York. They were available in both the small Mennonite market where we stopped for fresh produce, but also at the major chain grocery store. The potatoes come in a big ol’ sack with a bag of, you guessed it, salt inside. The recipe is as simple as boiling the potatoes in a huge pot of salt (super salty, like ocean salty) water, until the insides are tender and the skins absorb all that flavor!. They are traditionally served in a bath of butter, alongside meat and a veggie. The serving size is huge so my friend told me her family typically uses the leftovers to make potato salad.
I couldn’t wait to recreate the recipe at home, but with just a little Spatularette twist. Although they don’t need any more flavor, I couldn’t resist adding some fresh chopped rosemary to the melted butter before drizzling it over the hot, salty, spuds. Since I’m only one person, I also decided to scale the recipe back and use a 1.5 pound bag of potatoes instead of the wopping 5 pound bag we bought in New York. This was plenty as a side dish for 3 dinners, but I’m a big eater, so you could probably even stretch it to serve four. The traditional potato of choice are mini white potatoes, but I found this bag of mixed mini’s at my local grocery store and couldn’t resist using them instead. Use what you can find; any small, young potato should work.
Before we get to the recipe, I want you to notice one more thing. Take a look at those skins. See how they look a little cloudy and withered? That means the salt did its job! As the potatoes cook in the boiling water, the salt forms a crust around the outside which not only adds flavor, but also creates a shield against the water, so the texture inside the potato stays fluffier like a baked potato, instead of dense and watery like normal boiled potatoes. Salt potatoes are cheap to make and heat up great for leftovers, so grab the recipe below and make yourself a batch ASAP!
- 1.5 lbs of small potatoes
- 6 cups water
- 3/4 c kosher salt (or 1 cup if you use the Diamond Crystal brand like I did)
- 3 Tbs butter
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
- Wash potatoes well.
- Bring 6 cups of water and the kosher salt to a boil in a large pot.
- Add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. When they are done, drain the potatoes.
- Melt 3 Tbs of butter with the minced rosemary.
- When melted, drizzle the butter over the hot potatoes.
I did my research and found the proportions in this New York Times article.
starch + salt + butter … who doesn’t need a little more of that in their life?