In her well-researched tome, Vegetables, from Amaranth to Zucchini, Elizabeth Schneider describes the Desiree potato as a European favorite that is best steamed because it turns pearly alabaster with its flesh waxy, satiny and sliceable. “Pure delicate flavor with a high note–like sparkling wine.” This simple presentation is meant to showcase the potato’s quality.
2 pounds Desiree potatoes
3 to 4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces mild blue cheese
Chopped parsley leaves, optional
Scrub the potatoes very well with a vegetable brush. Place them on a steamer rack over plenty of boiling water. Cover. Reduce the heat so that the water boils gently and cook until the potatoes are tender in the center when pierced with a knife tip, about 25 minutes. Lift the steamer rack and let the potatoes cool slightly.
While the potatoes are cooking, slice the garlic into thin slivers. Heat the butter in a skillet on very low heat. Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring often until the garlic softens. If the flame is good and low, this could take 10 minutes—just don’t let the garlic turn brown.
Mash potatoes slightly and arrange them in a warm serving dish. Drizzle the buttery garlic and blue cheese on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if you want more color.
Figuring about 1/2 pound of potatoes per person–this recipes serves 4.