By Lindsay Hunt | June 15, 2011

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

I didn’t like potatoes at all until I tried this simple dish. Sure, I liked a potato gratin, oozing with Gruyere cheese and heavy cream, or a plate of hash browns, but those are special occasion foods in my book that were better ordered at a restaurant, where I could be in denial about how I consume my spuds.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

When it comes to the home-cooked variety of potatoes, I blanched at the site of a baked potato for dinner or rosy-red new potatoes with lamb. Long relegated to the list of flavorless ingredients in my mental shopping list, I rarely made a potato purchase at the market.

Then, last week’s shopping led to an impulse buy. A bin of multi-colored new potatoes called out to me with their cheery hues, telling me to purchase them and pair them with a roasted chicken or a nice omelet.

The reality of a bowlful of potatoes on my kitchen counter was no such inspiration. Despite the excitement I felt at conquering my hatred, I felt no compulsion to cook them until I had eaten every last piece of produce in the refrigerator.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Cue the boiled potatoes. I had 15 minutes to get dinner together and out the door to my picnic date. Normally I’d roast these babies into submission and fold them into a variety of other acceptable vegetables, but this is all there was, and I was short on time. I unearthed a pot, tossed in the potatoes and a pinch of salt, and let them boil with just enough water to quickly transform them into something edible.

They were more than just edible; they were a divine transformation of lowly spud to buttery side dish! After popping a few of them into my mouth for a one-bite treat, I decided that I couldn’t hoard these to myself. Though I could have eaten the whole bowlful alone, with just a pat of butter, I gathered my self-control and saved enough for my date. I tossed the lot with a scoop of Cilantro Pesto for ultimate flavor and packed them with a healthy salad for a light summer dinner.

I can’t wait until I can buy more new potatoes this week. Food-hatred conquered, I wonder what will strike my fancy this week. Have you overcome any food fears or dislikes?

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Boiled New Potatoes with Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Servings: 2


  • 3/4 lb new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1-11/2 tsp salt, plus to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp Cilantro Pesto(or other seasoning)


1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water just to cover. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 8-10 minutes, depending on their size.

2. Drain the potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pesto and toss to coat. Serve while still warm.

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