In Season Now: Potatoes

Spuds, tubers, taters. Whatever you call them, potatoes are an all-purpose vegetable (and yes, they are actually a vegetable) that folks love. Potatoes can be double fried into crispy French fries, boiled for salads and mashed potatoes, baked for baked potatoes and so much more.

They’re also the thing of child’s play. Who didn’t toss a bean bag around in a game of hot potato as a kid? And who hasn’t moved around the arms, legs, feet and eyes of a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head?

And, as we sit on the cusp of growing season, starchy potatoes are among the cold storage crops available now in Maine farmers markets. From Kennebec potatoes (good for potato chips) to Katahdin (good for potato salad) to the newest potato, the Caribou Russet (also featured in this issue!—Ed.), there are so many varieties grown in Maine. What varieties are available now in your area?

According to the Maine Potato Board, a medium potato with the skin has about 18 percent of the recommended daily value of potassium, a nutrient that’s good for cell health, maintaining normal blood pressure and more. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C, with about 45 percent of the recommended daily value in a medium potato. This antioxidant is good for the immune system and can help with iron absorption, the prevention of cell damage and the production of collagen. And potatoes—again, with the skin—also have some fiber, vitamin B6 and iron.

Do make sure you eat the skin.

Potato Carrot Hash

Serves 4

3 medium Maine potatoes (about ¾ lb), variety of your choice

1 large (or 1 small) carrots, peeled if desired

1 tbsp olive oil

3-4 shallots, peeled and chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dice the potatoes and carrots to a ¼-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and boil until just tender—about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the stove and drain.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the shallots, potatoes and carrots to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned—8-10 minutes.

Serve. This is great with eggs over easy.

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