Week 50: Purple Potatoes

19 Dec

I have a recipe for spicy chickpea and vegetable casserole from The Essential Vegetarian  Cookbook that I often make in the winter. It’s really just a slew of vegetables and chickpeas in a tomato sauce flavored with cumin, allspice, and chili pepper. While at Whole Foods picking up the vegetables, I ran across purple potatoes and decided to throw them into the mix since I’d never had them before. I assumed that their skin would be purple but the inside would be white, just like red bliss potatoes have redish skin but are white inside. I was wrong:

While I cooked, Andrew googled “purple potatoes” and found this cool website, Specialty Produce. That site filled us in on how purple potatoes and white potatoes differ. Unlike the traditional white potatoes, purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This is the same antioxidant found in blue, red, and purple produce like blueberries and pomegranates. It’s “an immune system booster and aids in the prevention of certain cancers.” Purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure, are low in calories, and are a good source of fiber.

I added a whole bunch of other vegetables to the casserole – broccoli, red potatoes, onions, brussels sprouts, and carrots:

The recipe calls for everything to simmer for an hour or so, and then we finally tasted the purple potatoes. They were excellent! They were actually more potato-ish than regular white potatoes, if that’s possible. They were earthy and kind of nutty tasting, I thought, but very similar to your standard potato. A bunch of websites I found said that purple potatoes can be substituted for white potatoes in just about every way you can imagine – mashed, grilled, fried, baked. They are usually available year-round, but may become more difficult to find in the January-April time frame.

I loved the purple potaotes and Andrew REALLY loved them. The spicy chickpea casserole with the purple potatoes was a perfect winter meal:

2 Responses to “Week 50: Purple Potatoes”

  1. Dana December 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Purple mashed potatoes are awesome. Your nephews will love them.

    • Laura December 20, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      I was just going to say- making mashed purple potatoes is so fun. yum!

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