Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme, Crispy or Not

I learned how to cook potatoes by the caseload. By the caseload of salt, too. Seriously. I was working in a restaurant in Philadelphia and gasped the first time I saw the chef unload a box — literally one 3-lb. box — of kosher salt into a pot, albeit a very large pot, filled with fingerling potatoes, water, many cloves of garlic and several bunches of rosemary and thyme.

Bring the water to a boil, he instructed, then turn off the heat. The potatoes, he ensured, would finish cooking as they cooled.

He was right. The potatoes were cooked perfectly, not the slightest bit overdone. And moreover, they were seasoned perfectly, too, not a bit too salty and subtly infused with the flavors of rosemary, thyme and garlic.

These days, I eat these potatoes straight out of the pot with not a bit of extra seasoning. They are excellent, too, sliced and tossed into salads.

But when I’m not feeling so lazy, I go the extra mile and crisp them up, as I learned to do at the restaurant, with a bit more rosemary and thyme and a pinch more salt. And then I splash Sriracha all over them. It’s such a treat. I think you’ll like them, too.

Fingerling Potatoes, Crispy or Not

Serves 2-4

1 1/2 lbs. fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup + 2 T. kosher salt
several sprigs of rosemary and thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed

olive oil
kosher salt
a few more sprigs rosemary and thyme, leaves removed and minced

1. Place fingerlings in a pot. Cover with approximately one inch of water. Add the salt, herbs and garlic. Bring the pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Let the potatoes cool completely in their liquid before proceeding.

2. Once cool, you can eat the potatoes as they are or you can brown them. These potatoes are wonderful to have on hand — they are truly delicious cooked as they are, sliced and tossed into salads or just eaten straight out of the refrigerator.

3. If you want to crisp them up a bit, slice the potatoes in half on a bias (or leave them whole if they are really small). Then, heat a pan (preferably cast iron or carbon steel or stainless steel) over high heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom — the pan and oil should be very hot before adding the potatoes. Add the potatoes, shake the pan once and then let them be. Do not disturb them for a minute or two. Check one before trying to shake the pan or stir them with a spoon — you want that edge to get crispy and it won’t get crispy if you try to move them too quickly.

4. Once the fingerlings are browning nicely, shake the pan, toss in the herbs and give them a pinch more of kosher salt. Serve immediately. I like to eat mine with Sriracha. Yum!


  1. Lisa says

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  2. Heron says

    Lisa, actually there is a chance that it is your computer – I also use google reader and can see no problem with this feed.

  3. says

    There is nothing like a well cooked potato. So although I’m sure both ways taste good, I’m a sucker for the crispy type which look AMAZING in your photo.

  4. Jennifer Smaldone says

    Hi Alexandra! Remember me…I teach with your Mom and Dad at Choate. I love your food and look forward to your recipes. I couldn’t find fingerlings but I had baby white potatoes. I followed the recipe, fresh rosemary and thyme, and garlic. The only change that I made was the cooking time. Because these potatoes were larger than fingerlings, I let them boil for a few extra minutes and turned off the heat. They are perfect andI’m going to serve them with turkey burgers and a salad with chipotle and lime dressing. Keep up the good work and keep the recipes coming. By the way, our department, HPRSS, had a wonderful luncheon in your father’s honor a couple of weeks ago. He was so charming and gracious and competely self effacing as tributes about him were read; he has a wonderful sense of humor. It was fantastic. We gave him a box of cigars and a fabulous bottle of scotch!

  5. says

    I usually cook fingerlings with garlic and thyme…haven’t tried rosemary though (but there is a cafe in my neighborhood that serves the most delicious rosemary and sea salt potato wedges, so it stands to reason that I’d like rosemary on my fingerlings)…
    I never thought of having my potatoes with Sriracha. THAT I will have to try…I absolutely love Sriracha.

  6. says

    I LOVE crispy potatoes. And I really like them in salads-which shocks me since my mind says that cold potatoes in a salad are gross.

  7. keena says

    I made these last night (to a family, alas, of non potato lovers) and all were gone. I cannot believe I can basically ignore potatoes (as I’ve learned I can do with hard boiled eggs) when they come to a boil, and they are delicious!

  8. Jocelyn says

    Just wanted to say that I’ve made these several times (and will make them again on Sunday). They really are delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  9. becca says

    I made these tonight – fantastic! Five minutes ago, I found myself standing over a pot of almost-cool water and potatoes with a bottle of sriracha in my hand…

    It was fun seeing you when we were in Calif. for my cousin’s wedding – take care, and let us know when you’re on the East Coast!

  10. says

    Mmm. These sound fabulous!

    (Oh, and I hear you on the caseloads. I scraped asparagus by the pallet during my summer in a hotel kitchen!)

  11. Kyleen says

    Do you think these would freeze well? If I cook them, freeze them, then thaw and brown/crisp them up? I’m trying to find side dishes for the holidays that I can prepare in advance, freeze and cook later.

    • says

      Kyleen, gosh, I don’t know. I am not the most experienced freezer. Have you ever frozen potatoes before? If you have successfully, then I would say, yes, do it, but otherwise, I don’t want to lead you astray. I totally am feeling your preparedness — just the thought of menu planning is making me anxious. I wish I could offer more guidance.

    • says

      Hi! So, once the pot comes to a boil, shut it off immediately and let them cool for at least 20 minutes if possible. You might get away with a quicker cooling time if the potatoes are small, but the big ones might not be cooked through. I often do this first thing in the morning or mid afternoon, and just leave the potatoes in the water until I’m ready to cook them. They are irresistible straight from the pot. Hope that helps!

  12. Carol Buynak says

    Is all of the salt necessary? I am on a salt restricted diet (heart failure problems) and was wondering of cutting the salt in 1/2 or even less would affect the taste and cooking? Thanks, these look awesome and I love the cooking method.

    • says

      Of course! Try using half and see how the flavor is. You can always add more salt during the browning part, but of course, you don’t have to especially when health is a concern. Hope you like them!

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