I got an e-mail this week from a reporter for our local paper asking about heirloom fruits and vegetables that are native to Sonoma County. I mentioned the famed Gravenstein apple. And the Crane melon. But what got both of us the most excited was the Bodega Red potato. Our local Slow Food chapter has been actively involved in bringing this humble spud back from the brink of extinction. And I have two plants growing in my backyard. Long story short, John the photographer and I unearthed a few potatoes last night for the article and I was chomping at the bit to cook them up in a way that would showcase their flavor and texture, rather than mask it. And I have to say, this is it. These potatoes are creamy and rich with a bite that pushes back, lifted by a freshness from the lime and salt. I'm going to give a disclaimer here, though; if you're using store-bought potatoes you'll probably need to amp up the flavor (I'd add a dash of cider vinegar or Dijon mustard or even soy sauce). This one is meant for potatoes from garden or farmers' market, as close as you can get to being pulled from the ground.
1 pound fresh, fresh, fresh thin-skinned potatoes of any color, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Coarse sea salt, like Maldon
Fill a pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil with a steamer insert. Add potatoes, cover, and steam for 10 minutes, or until the tip of a sharp knife goes through a potato without force, but still with a bit of resistance. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and blot any extra moisture with a paper towel. Toss with oil and butter to coat well. Toss again with lime zest and salt. Serve topped with additional salt to taste.