Monday, November 19, 2012

Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

I have a confession to make.  Produce sections in the grocery store make me giddy!  And, if it's a well-stocked produce section, well, then I almost have an apoplectic fit.  It's true.  Over the summer, a new grocery store came to town, and when you walk in the front doors, you are immediately in the produce department.  The first time I walked in, everything was shiny and new, and all the colors of the rainbow were popping everywhere.  I stood in the center, and almost wept with pure joy.  I had gone over my lunch break, and completely lost track of time.  I was actually late going back to work, and I didn't even get through the whole section.  It, honestly, took me about 6 visits to even get beyond that point, and check out the rest of the store.  I would be perfectly happy to pitch a tent in the center, and camp out for a couple of weeks.  I love fruits and veggies that much!  And, it's not just the typical apples, bananas, potatoes and carrots that gets my motor running.  I go crazy for the out of the ordinary things like kale, leeks, fennel, and jicama.  If I haven't tried it, but it looks interesting, I am compelled to buy it.  I will then come home and research the best ways to prepare it.  Did you know that jicama (pronounced HICK-um-uh) has a texture similar to a water chestnut, and adds great crunch to a salad?  Neither did I until I brought it home, and googled it.  That is just one of the veggies that I found while browsing my favorite place in the store.  If I ever go missing, send a search party to the local Coborn's.  I'm sure they'll find me just a few paces in, either in some kind of "vegetative" coma (pun intended) or giggling madly.

So, what has me giddy today?  Over the weekend, my husband and I found ourselves strolling through Walmart's produce department.  I don't usually get as excited there because, quite frankly, it's not as good as our other 2 stores.  However, they sometimes surprise me.  Like the tubes of cilantro and basil - amazing!  As I was looking for good butternut and spaghetti squash, I found little bags of medley fingerling potatoes!  I haven't seen them for months, and had to tamp down the urge to start gleefully giggling, if only because I didn't want to embarass my husband.  But, these bags of red, gold and purple potatoes (Yes, purple skinned and fleshed potatoes!) thrill me!  They are perfect for roasting, lend themselves to any seasoning combination you care to through at them and the purple ones are gorgeous, not to mention they have a different flavor than the other potatoes.  Something with that midnight, inky color makes it taste unique.  There were only 2 bags left so I quickly snatched one, and started planning how and when I was going to roast them this time around.  I could do my old-standby with rosemary, but I wanted something a little different.  It was only as I was halfway home that I came up with the "pesto roasted" idea.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

1 (2 lb) bag fingerling potatoes
1/3 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup diced red onion (I cheated & bought a pre-chopped box from Walmart.)
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (I used my tube of chopped basil.)
1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste, or finely, chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Teaspoon crushed peppercorns
1 Teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon lemon pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a large cookie sheet with foil.

Wash potatoes well, and let air dry while you make pesto.

In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Whisk well.

Throw potatoes in, and use a rubber spatula to stir and coat them evenly.

Place on prepared pan in a single layer.

Roast for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Turn to 350, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the largest fingerling is tender when pierced with a fork.

See those little brown pieces?  That's caramelized red onions and they are fabulous!

Look at how beautiful the purple one is!  It tasted pretty yummy, too!  And the little brown one to the left?  That's one of the ones that my son calls "Giant's fingers."