Potatoes Roasted in Parchment Purses


by Lynne Vea, PCc Natural Markets Chef


Posted on May 14, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Updated Saturday, May 14 at 11:38 AM

Served with Greek Yogurt and Homemade Pestos

Growing up, this was a favorite campfire dish, which I have translated into a favorite oven roasted dish. The steamy new potatoes are glorious with the cool yogurt and complex flavors of whatever particular variety of pesto makes you smile.

(Makes 6 packets)

12 new potatoes, (your favorite variety)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Parchment paper
Greek style yogurt for garnish
Your favorite pestos for garnish

Cut 6 squares of parchment paper approximately 10"x10". (No need to be perfect about this. This is rusticity at its best!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the new potatoes in quarters. Toss with the little of the olive oil and salt and pepper.

Place 8 quarters of potato in the center of a sheet of parchment. Bring the corners up and twist the parchment at the top to form a purse like packet. Trim the top with a single cross cut with kitchen shears. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Place the packets on a baking sheets and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Give each diner their own packet and offer the yogurt and pesto for topping.

Note: If you want to translate this dish to an outdoor grill, precook the potatoes gently in boiling salted water, transfer them with the olive oil, salt and pepper to the parchment purses and then wrap each purse in foil. Toss in a few slices of shallot if you like. Cook on a preheated grill for about 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Seed, Lime and Cilantro Pesto
On the show we hand crushed this pesto with a mortar and pestle. This method produces a rustic style pesto with lots of separate colors and textures. The flavors meld but remain identifiable. You may of course prepare it in a food processor!
(Makes about 1 cup)

1/4 cup cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup or more olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon chipotle  powder (optional)
Hot sauce to taste

For the old fashioned method: Place the cilantro, garlic, pumpkin seeds and salt on a cutting surface. Drizzle with a little of the olive oil and squeeze half of the lime over. Add the zest. With a knife, chop the ingredients into evenly coarse pieces. Place the mixture in a mortar and crush with the pestle, drizzling with more oil as you go, until the ingredients are very well blended. Stir in the last of the lime juice, chipotle and hot sauce to your taste.

For the new fangled method: Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until nice and chunky.