I was so excited when our local supermarkets offered pink and purple potatoes so I simply had to experiment with them. The flavours are good earthy potato flavours, but it is the colour that can make a dish exciting.

The first dish that came to mind was my version of Spanish Potatoes, which I have not placed on the blog yet, but it often replaces potato salad at a braai. In Spain 10mm cubes of white potatoes are sautéed with plenty of paprika and olive oil and are served in tapas bars. Sometimes slices of fried chorizo sausage is added. They are delicious.

My version of Spanish Potatoes

Serves 6-8

500g baby potatoes, boiled in skins (you can use large potatoes, then cut into 2cm cubes)

150ml good quality olive oil

1 medium red onion chopped or 4 spring onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

15ml paprika (I prefer the hot or picante, but you can use half hot : mild, or all mild)

5ml salt

20ml sherry or red wine vinegar

100ml chopped chives or parsley

 Optional additives to make your dish more interesting, considering colours and textures:

About 250ml cherry tomatoes – add after spices, stir fry lightly not to break them up

250ml sliced or halved button mushrooms – sauté with oil and spices

2-3 Chorizo sausages, sliced, sauté with oil and spices

4 slices pancetta or bacon, cook crisp and add at the end  

 Heat the oil and add the onion and sauté until the onion is tender

  • Add the garlic, paprika and salt
  • Add the potatoes and vinegar, and toss them in the seasoned oil, ensuring that they are well coated and do not break up. Add more olive oil if necessary
  •  Add the chives or parsley just before serving
  • Serve at room temperature or warm.

You will see that I varied the above recipe it by adding a further blast of colour in the form of cubed red and yellow peppers.

Revised recipe using red and purple potatoes: Purple and Red Potato Medley with a Spanish Influence

I varied it further by adding chicken thighs to make a ‘one pot dish’ that merely required a few sautéed cougettes to balance the meal.

On another occasion I just added a few slices of red potato to a salmon starter and that looked much more exciting on a plate. The mild flavour of the boiled potato worked well with the delicate salmon that had been marinated in rosé grapefruit juice for 24 hours.

The conclusion on the purple and red potatoes is that I struggled to get the dish to look light. I’m not sure if they were 100% what I expected in creating a wow of colour. They are not over priced, so buy them to create some fun  with your presentation.