Among the items in our first CSA box was a mixed bag of potatoes with skins ranging in color from light brown to red. The list that accompanied our second box included the line “All Red Potatoes,” and we assumed that simply meant that we’d gotten all red-skinned ones that time. Imagine our surprise when we quartered a few of these potatoes to boil and discovered that they’re red all the way through! And what’s more, the color doesn’t fade during boiling (like the gorgeous deep lavender skin of the Purple Viking potato); if anything, it becomes more intense.
After our initial experience with the All Red potatoes we knew we wanted to try them mashed, but got distracted finding ways to use up our CSA items with short shelf lives. So the potatoes just sat around until this past weekend, when we decided to try them with some items from our most recent box. We’ve been inundated with cucumbers, so we made a simple cucumber salad with dill, mint, feta, and a bit of red wine vinegar. We also had a gorgeous head of savoy cabbage, the large leaves of which we decided to stuff for a main course.
The recipe we used for the cabbage came from here (I’ll give you the basics of the recipe, but follow the link if you want more explanation). First, blanch a few of the big leaves then set them aside to dry. Saute some diced onion (we used a cipollini), then add some of the inner cabbage leaves, roughly chopped. Once the leaves have reduced somewhat, add diced carrot. Cook covered for fifteen minutes or so, then stir in some chopped cooked bacon (the recipe actually calls for speck, a Tyrolean ham, but we had bacon that needed to be used up). Spoon stuffing into the leaves, fold them up, grate some Parmesan on top, and bake for 15 minutes at 200°.
The stuffed cabbage was quite delicious, and the leaves turned out a gorgeous bright green. But, the visual stunner of our meal was unquestionably the mashed potatoes. The crimson flesh, flecked with deep red skin and the green of fresh Italian parsley was simply astonishing. And they tasted great, too. The flavor is more complex than your standard potato, but I don’t have a good way to describe it. Suffice it to say that mashed with parsley, garlic, cheese, butter, and a bit of milk, they delight three of the senses. If you ever see All Red potatoes for sale, buy them!