From the Kitchen Garden: New Potatoes

potatoesNow this may surprise many of my friends who well know my general dislike of potatoes (not even French fries) but I must admit even I, non-spuds man that I am, love new potatoes fresh from the garden. The first ones are in this morning, and I plan to use them this evening in a favorite recipe from our old Cultivated Garden NPR show, which employs an ancient Spanish/Moorish technique of baking the potatoes under a thick bed of sea salt. (The Chinese (and many Asian cuisines) also use salt as a way of creating a “crust” to seal in the natural juices of many foods, including fish and shellfish.)  Serve the potatoes with this excellent green sauce made from capers, parsley, baby pickles and garlic.

Recipe: Roasted Potatoes with Salt Crust and Spanish Green Sauce
The Potatoes:
1 lb. new potatoes
About 4 to 5 cups coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

The Green Sauce:
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cornichons or gherkin pickles
1/4 cup capers, chopped?2 cloves garlic, minced?1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup sherry or wine vinegar
Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large roasting dish and cover with the salt, making sure the potatoes are completely covered. Roast for about 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the green sauce and let sit about 30 minutes.
To test for doneness: push the salt to the side and insert a small, sharp knife into the potato; it should be tender. To serve, remove the potatoes from the salt, brushing off all the salt flakes and serve them hot with the green sauce.
Serves 4.

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