Seared Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Chili Aioli

Fingerling Potatoes are at the market!  I love the sweetness of these delicate little potatoes, and their size makes it more reasonable to serve an entire potato than those giant fellows you get at the grocery store. Secretly (not so secretly), I hate peeling vegetables. I almost never peel carrots when a recipe calls for it, I simply buy younger carrots. I love the organic patterning of an unpeeled vegetable, the lumps and bumps make it feel closer to the garden.

I wanted each of my potatoes to keep their identity and shape so I decided to boil them and then sear the outsides. This achieves what I like to consider as the crème puff of potatoes. A crispy crust holds a deliciously sweet and creamy interior!

I find it very important to press the potatoes to achieve flat sides for the butter to properly brown the skins. My favorite way to achieve this is by heating up butter in a large (16 inch) cast iron pan, arranging the boiled potatoes on top, and then carefully pressing down with a 10 inch cast iron. If you don’t have an extra pan, simply use a pot or pan, or a heavy knife to gently flatten each potato before browning in butter.

I paired the potatoes with a spicy and lemony cilantro aioli.  The potatoes and cilantro aioli make a meal in an of themselves, but check in tomorrow to see how I completed the meal!

Seared Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Chili Aioli


seared fingerlings:
1 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper

cilantro aioli:
1/3 cup aioli
1/3 cup cilantro chutney (or see below)

for 1/3 cup cilantro chutney:
1/2 cup cilantro
1 ounce peanuts
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. brown butter
pinch of ground turmeric
1/2 green chili

  1. Boil potatoes with 2 tsp. salt and enough water to cover or 10-12 minutes until just soft. Stab with a small knife to check if it is soft. Do not poke too many times though, to avoid damaging the skins.
  2. Drain and quickly dry the potatoes with a towel.
  3. Melt butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add potatoes and smash down with a second cast iron pan (see above for alternate method). Your goal is to achieve flat surfaces not to flatten to a chip. Try to avoid cracking the flesh.
  4. Leaving the heavy pan on top, sear for about five minutes on each side or until the skin is golden and crispy. Set aside in a warm place and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix aioli and chutney if already prepared. If not, blitz all of the cilantro chutney ingredients in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Mix with aioli or mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Serve as is or check back in tomorrow for my protein pairing!

Total cooking time: 30 minutes, serves 4


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