Today I thought I’d share a dish with you I have prepared countless time. It is straightforward to prepare, great as a side or an underlay accompaniment to the main meal, and incorporates ingredients that should be readily available in most kitchen larders. And it is kind of festive on some level.
Consider it upscale “home fries”—only that the size of the ingredients are confetti-like, and it is flecked with color where home fries are mainly all the same neutral color. For those who enjoy a good potato dish, this is a keeper.
I named it Confetti Potatoes.
This recipe generously serves two people, allowing leftovers which, as one option, can be combined with eggs and smoked salmon as a Sunday morning breakfast . . . but I’ll leave that up to you to sort out.
4 medium potatoes (I used 2 gold and 2 purple varieties just to add a little more color)
1 large sweet onion
2 celery stalks with leaves
2 fennel stalks with fronds
1 medium carrot
3 garlic cloves
4 to 5 sprigs of parsley, both leaves and stems
Oil (I used Cuban oregano-infused olive oil and some rendered duck fat)
Salt and pepper
Fennel seed—bay leaf—rosemary dust (dried seed and herbs are ground to a fine powder in a spice grinder)
Mince or finely chop all the vegetables (à la confetti), keeping them separated, with the potatoes approximately 1/4 inch in size. Yes, I realize this is a lot of prep work, but you have to bear the cross if you want to wear the crown! And, it helps sharpen your knife skills.
Over moderate heat using a heavy sauté pan, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Drop a couple of onion pieces into the center of the pan and if they begin to gently sizzle the pan is ready.
Begin by sautéing the onions until they are softened. Initially season at this point and stir to combine.
Add the garlic, again stirring to combine and do not burn! Adjust the heat as needed, you are looking for a slow sizzle here.
Next add the minced celery, fennel, and carrot, stirring to combine, and sauté until the carrots begin to soften and the mix begins to take on some light color.
Add the potatoes and again stir to combine. Add some additional oil as needed to prevent sticking and add another layer of seasoning. Then turn over the potatoes to incorporate into the mix.
Finally, sprinkle the minced parsley over the top and fold into the mix. Check and adjust the heat if the mix seems to be sticking too much, although there will be some that you want to scrape up and incorporate.
Continue the slow sauté until the potatoes are tender but not too soft as you want them to keep their shape.
Turn out into a bowl and either serve immediately, or gently warm later when the meal is assembled. FYI, this potato recipe is actually better on the second day. And sure, it’s perfectly okay to steal a forkful before serving—you should be tasting as you go anyway.
I hope you get to try this dish and find new ways to use it as part of your regular kitchen repertoire. Let me know how it turns out.