September has been deemed National Potato Month, and that seems fair enough. Except such is the versatility, economy, and general deliciousness of the humble spud, I’d say it deserves even more celebration. The “Season of the Potato?” The “Year of the Potato?” I wouldn’t quibble with either. Whether red, white, blue, yellow, or orange, every potato is worthy of your time and attention — and they are always crowd pleasers. Here, I’ve included some of my favorite potato-based recipes; you’ll want to bookmark some of these for everyday eating, and others for special occasions and holidays.
You don’t have to have been to Spain — or even a Spanish restaurant! — to enjoy this yummy take on a tapas bar classic. No need to deep fry the potatoes when oven roasting brings out so much flavor. Top the potatoes with a tomato sauce seasoned with garlic, paprika, cayenne, and a little hot sauce; I also like a touch of the classic aioli (a garlicky mayonnaise) as a garnish, along with a shower of chopped cilantro and/or Italian parsley.
Oh, how I love a Hasselback potato. When done just right, it’s everything I want in a side dish: crispy, well-seasoned tubers that belong in my tummy immediately. While this Crispy Potato Roast from Smitten Kitchen isn’t technically the same dish — which involves slicing a potato very thinly almost all the way through, then brushing it with oil and butter, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and baking to a delectable level of crunch — it FEELS like a casserole of Hasselbacks, and that is a very, very good thing. For the last 10 minutes of baking, I gilded the top with a shower of freshly grated parmesan cheese and I didn’t hate it at all.
You’ll be tempted to save this dish for winter, because it sounds so comforting, and guess what? It is. But don’t wait, especially if you have vegetarian tendencies, or love someone who does. The best part is that it comes together quickly, and delivers a massive punch of flavor with very little effort. No need to sweat it about grinding your own curry when you can stop in at Whole Foods and grab some red or yellow Thai curry paste. The spice is tempered some by the addition of coconut milk, and did I mention that it’s also vegan? Serve over brown rice or rice noodles.
ANOTHER vegan recipe? Yes, but don’t panic, because you won’t miss the butter. And if you do, just smush some in, and don’t serve it to vegans. It’s that simple. But once you taste this literal mash-up of cauliflower and Yukon Gold potatoes (they do make the best mashed taters, you know) with roasted garlic, chopped rosemary, and olive oil, you will be glad you persevered. A handy trick to remember: Save a little of the salty, starchy cooking water from the potatoes, much like you do with pasta, and add in at the end to loosen the mixture a bit. Serve with meatloaf or roast chicken just to reinforce your carnivore cred.
If you’re not a fan of potatoes layered with lots of butter and cheese, why are you even reading this article? If, on the other hand, you live for that particular combination, this is the potato side dish for you. Not for me, the sweet potatoes mixed with maple syrup and marshmallows; I prefer mine with herbs and garlic and plenty of salt and pepper. And, of course, cheese. As for the optional crispy bacon bits, don’t be a fool. Go for it.
A few years ago, we happened upon the a-mahzing kimchi fries at bopNgrill and holy moley are they worth every calorie piled upon them. This recipe is a good start toward recreating those hallowed spuds, piling sriracha mayo, spicy kimchi, scallions, cilantro, pickled jalapeno, and lime juice atop a golden mound of skinny fries. If you have some cheese sauce, chopped bacon, and sesame seeds hanging around as well, now we’re really in business.
Leftover mashed potatoes are never a bad thing, especially when they live their best second life as these crunchy-crusted, cheese-and-broccoli-laden potato cakes. Cook up a panful of garlicky sautéed broccoli, chop it up, and add to the mashed potatoes along with cheddar cheese and a few eggs to bind the mixture; form them into cakes, coat them with panko crumbs, and pan-fry in batches. Makes a breakfast to brag about with some poached eggs and crispy bacon strips — extra points for homemade cappuccino.
More from Make It Better:
- 7 Easy Weeknight Dinners to Make With a Rotisserie Chicken
- Quickles: 8 Must-Try Recipes for Quick-Pickled Vegetables and Fruits
- 7 Delicious Recipes That Use Up Extra Produce (And Reduce Food Waste!)
Julie Chernoff, Make It Better’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz Scaggs, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and sits on the boards of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and Northlight Theatre. She and husband Josh are empty nesters since adult kids Adam and Leah have flown the coop. Rosie the Cockapoo relishes the extra attention.