The first potatoes of the season are being dug up at local farms and can now be found at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. These are what we often refer to as “new” potatoes.
New potatoes aren’t a special variety of potato; rather, they are young potatoes that are harvested before they form a thick skin. In fact, the skin of a new potato is so thin that it could be scrubbed off with a vegetable brush. Of course, there is no reason to do that because the skin is tender and edible. Depending on the variety the skin can also add a delightful color to a meal.
New potatoes can come in varying sizes, but for the recipe below small potatoes, about the size of a large egg, would be best. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is also a great place to get basil and garlic for making the pesto. This recipe can be served as a vegetable side dish or as an appetizer. If you’re going to or hosting a Labor Day picnic these stuffed new potatoes would make a perfect finger food.
Pesto Stuffed New Potatoes
12-24 small new potatoes*, skin on
2 cups fresh basil leaves*
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2 cloves garlic, halved*
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook them. If the potatoes are too soft, they will just fall apart. Drain and cool.
While potatoes are cooking and cooling make the pesto. Put all remaining ingredients in the food processor or blender and mix at high speed. Stop from time to time and scrape down the side of the bowl. (This will make more pesto than needed for this recipe. Store extra in the refrigerator or freeze for long-term storage.)
Slice cooled potatoes in half lengthwise. (Cut a very thin slice of potato off the bottom so that it will sit flat, if needed.) Using a melon baller or small spoon scoop out the potato leaving a thick outer shell. In a small bowl, mix the scooped out potato center with 2-3 tablespoons of pesto. Fill halved potatoes with pesto & potato mixture. Place on an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. May be made ahead and reheated before serving.
Serving = 4 potato halves. Nutrition per serving: 160 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein, 60% Daily Value vitamin C.
This market recipe appears courtesy of Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension and The Saratogian. Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
For information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.