Harvest of the Month: Potatoes


“Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. PO-TAY-TOES,” as Samwise Gamgee says in “Lord of the Rings.” Potatoes are incredibly versatile, and we couldn’t agree more! Originally cultivated in the South American Andes more than 8,000 years ago, potatoes made their way to Europe through Spanish colonization. They can be grown almost anywhere, including in the International Space Station, and have become central to cuisines around the world.

Potatoes come in a diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes, and are easy to grow in the garden. Plant a sprouting potato in any type of container, pile it up with leaves or straw, and wait until the plants die back. When you dump out the container, you will be rewarded with lots of little treasures! Fingerling potatoes are tender, slender, and delicious roasted. Some potatoes can be colored all pink or all purple, and often retain their color even when cooked. There are also early-, mid- and late-season potatoes, so you can have fresh potatoes ready through the whole growing season!

We love this recipe for Brandade, from Maura Martin and Austin Racine of Mo’s Lunch. It would make such a fun winter weekend cooking project!

Recipe by Maura Martin and Austin Racine of Mo’s Lunch

½ lb. salt cod, rinsed and then soaked overnight in cold water in the fridge
2 Tbsp. neutral or olive oil
1 Spanish onion, peeled and cut into 1-in. pieces
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
2 bay leaves
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

Drain the salt cod. Add oil, onions, and garlic to a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven. Cook on medium-high heat until the onions are sizzling, and then add the potatoes and bay leaves. Next, add the salt cod to the skillet, and give a good stir. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Give a good stir, and then cover once again, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.

Next, add heavy cream, stirring to incorporate. Continue to cook uncovered, stirring often until potatoes are cooked through. Be cautious to keep stirring, to not let the brandade stick.

Once the potatoes are cooked through and falling apart, turn off heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Either pass the brandade through a food mill (for ultimate creaminess), or simply mash with a fork.

It is delicious to eat as is, but it is best spread out in a shallow dish, topped with Parmesan, and put under the broiler until browned for a nice and crispy top. Serve with crusty bread, vegetables, or as a side dish for fish.