The beauty of cooking baby potatoes is that they don’t turn soggy even if you overcook them a bit. Whether that’s only true for baby potatoes grown and sold in the Philippines, I don’t know. But the ones we find in the grocery are that way. They are waxy, and they retain their shape and their texture which really makes them ideal for recipes that require a lot of tossing and mixing.
There are two similar baby potato recipes in the archive, here and here, both contain butter, so they are categorized as lacto-vegetarian recipes. This is the vegan version. Speedy’s idea. He did the execution part too. To make up for the loss of flavor with the exclusion of butter, he used pesto with lots of garlic and lemon juice. And, interestingly enough, he undertook all that effort to peel the tiny potatoes — something I have never done. I always say potato skins contain a lot of nutrients but whether that statement is a subconscious excuse because the process of peeling them is too laborious and I am lazy, I really never introspected about it.
These baby potatoes with pesto are absolutely delicious. They make a wonderful salad, a filling snack and a gorgeous side dish. The tricks? You have to boil the potatoes in salted water. Then, you have to toss them with the pesto while they are still warm. Finally, you have to let them sit for half an hour at least to give them time to absorb all the goodness in the pesto.
I won’t bother specifying amounts in the ingredients list. Just use as much pesto as is needed to generously coat all your potatoes.
- Scrub and rinse the potatoes until the water runs clear. Place in a pot. Pour in enough cold water to cover. Add salt. A tablespoonful for every quarter kilo is a good guide. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until tender but not too soft. After 15 minutes pierce one with a skewer, if it goes all the way through with no resistance, it’s time to turn off the stove and drain the potatoes.
- Once the potatoes have been drained, you have the option of peeling them. If you decide to do so, remember that the potatoes are best tossed with the pesto while still warm. So, you will have to peel them as soon as they can be handled without scorching the hands.
- Toss the warm potatoes with the pesto. There are no rules here about the proportion. If the pesto is bland, you’ll probably want to add more rather than less. If you prefer the potatoes to be barely coated with oil, then use less.
- Let the pesto baby potatoes sit loosely covered at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.