making purple potato salad

October 7, 2010 at 8:45 am 14 comments

After a disappointing harvest of my early potatoes this year I decided to leave some of my main crop spuds in for as long as the damp autumn weather would permit.  Blight had invaded my tomato patch nearby but I thought it was worth the risk for potentially bigger and better spuds.  Worth it, it was and I filled buckets-full of Peruvian Purples and red skinned Sarpo Mira’s on a beautifully crisp sunny Saturday morning a couple of weekends ago.

I’d been excited but sceptical about promises of Peruvian Purples retaining their colour after cooking.  I even cut one open to check just how purple the flesh inside was.  The purple pigment in the the skin of my Gloucester Black Kidney potatoes disappointingly leached entirely when steamed.  Could I really hope for more from the Peruvians?

Peruvian purples are fingerling potatoes so I expected them to be firm like Anya or Pink Fur Apples.  They’re actually rather floury and faded to a lighter shade of lilac just beneath the skin where the flesh was more mushy.  I’ve yet to mash them and when I do I’ll be liberal with the butter as they’re quite dry on their own.  Potato salad is a good choice for Peruvian Purples:  it looks striking and they’re not-particularly-outstanding flavour is forgiven when paired with my favourite whole grain mustard and red onion mayonnaise mix.  I opted for a 50:50 blend of floury Peruvian Purples and firm white Nicola salad potatoes.  It was a surprise hit at a shared lunch recently once I’d assured people I wasn’t trying to trick them into eating beetroot! 

Purple potatoes hit the headlines this week because for the first time in Britain a purple variety will go on sale in the supermarket.  Purple Majesty potatoes, grown in Scotland, are being hailed as ‘the healthy potato‘ because of the high levels of Anthocyanin antioxidants found in purple foods (said to protect against cell damage and nourish blood).  I’ve no doubt culinary curiosity will bring new customers through the checkout at Sainsburys.  I just wonder how much they’re going to charge!

Entry filed under: allotment tales, in the kitchen.

making gluten-free lemon drizzle cake slow cooked green tomato and rhubarb chutney

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nina - tabiboo  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I wonder if my little ones would eat purple mash?? Worth a try I guess.

    We’ve not done so good on the toms either – blooming weather!

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  • 2. amy manning  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Sucks to grow and be dissapointed!

  • 3. Cheryl  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I wish I had some of these around here!

  • 4. Ann  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I saw the news about the purple potato, the chips they showed in the picture looked a bit dodgy to me! Glad your potato crop was good in the end. The varieties I chose this year were a big disappointment, they just fell to pieces when I boiled them.

  • 5. Johanna GGG  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    every colour is purple to our wee Sylvia at the moment but I suspect she would find this confronting at dinner! I would love it and am interested to hear the supermarkets are now onto this.

    • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  October 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      I love the way little ones see the world! Hoping to get to Sainsburys this week to have a nosey at their offerings

  • 7. mangocheeks  |  October 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Amazing that your potaotes stillr emained purple on cooking. When I cooked mine, they turned an off grey.

  • 8. Nic  |  October 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

    We had a really good crop of potatoes this year, and most of them were a good size. They were not as colourful as these though, I still haven’t tried a purple one!

  • 9. Chris  |  October 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    These purple potatoes (and some other unusual colours if I remember rightly) were sold in Waittrose (in Kent at least) a couple of years ago The colour cooked all the way through, but disappointingly they tasted just like ordinary potatoes! Don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t that. At that time I paid £1.99 for a kilo so by no means cheap. Lets hope if they do go to supermarkets now they will be cheaper.
    Probably good to grow your own!

  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  October 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I was the same Chris – high expectations and then disappointing flavour. That’s quite a dent it put in your pocket. I’ve saved some of the smaller potatoes for resowing next year.

  • 11. reapwhatyougrow  |  October 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    WOW, they are stunning. I usually find things that look great can be disappointing flavour-wise, but they are still worth it!

    That potato salad looks absolutely wonderful to me. I tried a vaguely bluish one once and it was floury too, so maybe from the same root.

    Great to see what you’ve been up to!

  • 12. Choclette  |  November 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Oh you sceptic, you didn’t believe me. Glad you had a good crop, they look to be a decent size too. Sorry you found the flavour disappointing – just shows how tastes differ. But I do think they work particularly well as mash and potato salads at parties are always good for conversation.

  • 13. Nip it in the bud  |  November 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Moy – glad to hear it’s not just me being fussy! They’re still worth it for the colour and nothing a hefty dollop of mayo can’t fix. Interested in trying them in cakes …

    Choclette – I did until my Gloucester Black Kidney potatoes leached all their skin colour and then the doubt set in! I’ve reached the same conclusion about what they work best in so will definitely grow more next year. Thanks heaps for the swap x

  • 14. V is for… Vegetable Pie « Zeb Bakes  |  August 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

    […] vegetables and I just wanted to show you these potatoes.  Nipitinthebud very kindly sent me some purple Peruvian potatoes from her stock to try growing this Spring. We grew them in tubs and lifted them this week. I […]


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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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