New potatoes are potatoes that have been harvested before they reach their full size (Photos by Pam Wiley, Virginia Farm Bureau).
If you’re shopping at your local farmers’ market or farm stand, be sure to look for new potatoes.
“We’ve been digging for about three weeks,” said Dana Boyle, a
produce grower whose family operates Garner’s Produce. “We planted them right about St. Patrick’s Day, and we have a really good stand this year. … People just go crazy for them.” Westmoreland County
New potatoes are actually the same potatoes you might buy later in the year when they reach their full size. The “new” part refers to their having been harvested early,when they are smaller and their skins are thinner.
The simplest way to prepare them is to cover whole, washed new potatoes with water in a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and then back the temperature down to a simmer. Partially cover the pan, and simmer the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and serve them topped with butter and a little salt and pepper.
If you want to take that a step further, halve or quarter the cooked potatoes and saute them in butter and/or olive oil with a little minced garlic, finely minced rosemary and freshly ground black pepper.
A third option comes from Bringing It to the Table, a recipe book published by county Farm Bureau women’s committees in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Southeast District. Instead of cutting the potatoes into wedges, like you would with mature-size potatoes, try halving or quartering them.
5-6 medium red-skin potatoes, washed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
dash of paprika
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut potatoes into wedges and place in a large casserole dish. Mix all the ingredients together, making sure potatoes are well-coated. Bake 45 minutes; turn potatoes over, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
There are many varieties of new potatoes from which to choose. These are fresh from the ground and in need of a good washing.