Sunday, January 30, 2011

Potatoes Worth Waiting For

Tonight I said goodbye to the last of the fresh vegetables from CSA share. The pound of red potatoes in my crisper could have probably made it a little longer, but it seemed as if the time was finally right to make them. I didn’t want to wait too long and waste them, after all.

My friend Barb had given each of the attendees at our last Cooking Light cooking club event, a Spanish themed dinner, a small bag of saffron to take home. She received it from a friend and had more than she could use.

I had been burning a hole in my proverbial pocket ever since. I had never cooked with saffron, but certainly had tasted it on my trip to Spain. I found a recipe for Saffron Almond Potatoes on the Cooking Light recipe page and printed it out immediately. It called for red potatoes, which seemed like fate.

The potatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, in a sauce of water, tomato sauce, and saffron, that is dusted with paprika. As it cooked, it filled the kitchen with a rich smoky aroma that was the perfect antidote for the snow outside.

I had plenty of time to take the scent in as I prepared the crumb topping, which I was quite excited about. First I toasted slivered almonds, then added them with two garlic cloves, some more olive oil and some toasted bread, to the food processor.

When the potatoes were tender I took them out of the oven and topped them with the almond mixture, while they were still steaming. The combination of the garlic and almond together was tasty enough on its own, but with the spicy, tender potatoes it was an especially nice juxtaposition. These were definitely the special potatoes I had been waiting for.

As I ate the potatoes I took stock of the CSA vegetables I still had preserved. I have quite a few tomatoes left and a few packages of pesto, but that's it. Next I counted the months until my first CSA delivery of the next season. Five. Remembering that I slowed down and savored my special potatoes a little bit more.

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