Potatoes are an incredibly versatile food, they can be boiled, baked, roasted, mashed, fried, included in gratins, soups, and stews. Wondering which type of potato is right for your next meal?
Potatoes generally fall into three categories:
Starchy: A high starch content means that these potatoes are generally fluffy once cooked, making them perfect for baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and french fries.
- Russet Potatoes, sometimes labeled 'Idaho Potatoes'
Waxy: These potatoes hold their shape even when cooked, making them ideal candidates for boiling, roasting, and potato salads.
- New Potatoes
- Red Potatoes
- Round White Potatoes
- Fingerling Potatoes
All-purpose: These potatoes are the happy-medium, they can do just about any job, although they won't be as fluffy as starchy potatoes or hold their shape as well as waxy potatoes, they can do either job. Being moderate in starch vs. wax means these potatoes are great for roasting, pan frying, and for using in soups and stews.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Red Gold Potatoes
Russets are also commonly labeled 'Idaho Potatoes'. These potatoes have a thick, rough skin and many eyes. They are low in moisture and high in starch so they are great for mashed and baked potatoes and French fries.
As the name implies, these potatoes have a golden skin and flesh. They are rich, moist, and creamy in texture with a medium starch content, resulting in excellent mashed potatoes, French fries, and potato salads. Yukon Golds are excellent all-purpose potatoes.
Firm and waxy, the most well known red potato is the Red Bliss. Red potatoes are ideal for uses that require a potato to keep its shape, such as boiling and roasting. The skin keeps its color even when cooked, so they make attractive additions to potato salad.
Also known as 'baby potatoes' because they are harvested young, these potatoes are sweeter and waxier than their full-grown counterparts, which can be of any potato variety, making them ideal for potato salads and roasting whole. These potatoes go soft quickly, so use them within 3 days.
As the name implies, these potatoes are small, long, and finger shaped. They are firm and waxy and come in multiple varieties, including gold, yellow, red, and purple, so they make beautiful potato salad and, like new potatoes, are ideal for roasting whole. Also like new potatoes, fingerlings to soft quickly, so use them within 3 days.
Two Potato Salad
- 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- 1 celery ribs, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
- Place the red potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook 8-10 minutes longer or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Drain potatoes; add to vinegar mixture and stir gently to coat. Cool.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and milk. Stir in the celery, onion and parsley. Gently stir into cooled potato mixture. Serve immediately or cover and chill.