Saturday, September 7, 2013

Potatoes Tarragon (and Basil, and Marjoram)

Today's offering is my version of the Potatoes Tarragon from Laurel's Kitchen, a book whose earnest tone, homespun woodcut illustrations, and forthright approach to cooking whole foods won my heart and made it one of my go-to resources back in the day. Although some of the recipes include eggs and dairy, they are applied far less lavishly than in most vegetarian cookbooks of the time, and on the whole the authors privilege grains, beans, and homemade bread over elaborate soufflés and creamy sauces. That being the case, this side dish - a variation on a hot potato salad - didn't require veganization, but I did tinker with the original by adding marjoram and basil to the tarragon, cutting down slightly on the vinegar, and substituting broth for water. The whole business took a good deal longer to cook than the prototype's directions suggest, but it turned out to be well worth the wait. In fact, it was gobbled up so enthusiastically that we had no leftovers at all. Another one to bookmark!

Potatoes Tarragon (and Basil, and Marjoram)
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 large onion, diced
~ 8 large-ish potatoes, halved and sliced into thin half moons
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 2 tsp. each: tarragon, marjoram, basil
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2 bay leaves
~ 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
~ 2 cups "no chicken" broth
~ Fresh parsley for garnish

~ In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the onions in the oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
~ Add the potatoes and dry seasonings and stir to coat. Continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~ Mix in the bay leaves, vinegar, and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for about 40 minutes.
~ Remove the lid, stir, and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and the liquid has reduced to a sort of thick, fragrant glaze. (As the authors put it, "the pan juices and potatoes should be commingling deliciously when you serve the dish.")
~ Fish out and discard the bay leaves and serve hot, sprinkled with a little fresh parsley if you like.

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