Red Potatoes and Wilted Greens

Having discovered farmer’s markets and fresh produce grown in season not too far from where it is sold, the editors of Gourmet Magazine have put together a compilation of recipes from the magazine that celebrate the glories of great, fresh ingredients. From the looks of things, they err on the side of simplicity, of leaving the basic ingredients well enough alone.

How is it supermarkets sell little red and white potatoes clumped together in plastic nets for your shopping convenience no matter what the season might be?

Beet greens and swiss chard are mild-tasting with earthy flavor, while mustard greens, particularly larger, older leaves, have a hot peppery punch. Choose greens with slender stems that will be tender enough to cook along with the leaves.

1. In a saucepan cover potatoes with salted water by ½ inch and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. While potatoes are simmering, mince garlic and discard tough stems from greens.
2. Drain potatoes in a colander and, when cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half. In a large heavy skillet heat butter and olive oil over moderate heat and cook potatoes, cut sides down, until golden, about 5 minutes. With a metal spatula loosen potatoes from bottom of skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic is pale golden. Add greens and cook, covered, 3 minutes, or until greens are wilted. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and stir until combined well. Serves 4.”

Road Test Results: This proved to be an outstanding dish. I didn’t have little red potatoes. I had medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes. So I boiled them until I thought they were tender. I always have trouble determining what truly is tender, and what is overcooked. In this case, I discovered little undercooked spots in the center of each potato when I quartered the lovelies. I had two cut sides to brown for each piece of potato, however, so they were cooked through by the time everything was golden and crusty. I used Swiss chard from the garden. I didn’t pay much attention to how much Swiss chard I actually had. It was a big bagful, and if I didn’t use all of it it was going to head south on me. What I’m saying here is even not following the recipe with religious conviction gives good results. The oft repeated refrain heard at the dinner table was, “Please pass the potatoes.”

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