Meatless Mondays: Fingerling Potato Hash

In a season of decadent cooking, sometimes the simplest food is the best.

(Photo: Ian Knauer)

Dec 8, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Ian Knauer is a regular contributor to TakePart. He has worked for Gourmet and is the author of the IACP Award–nominated cookbook The Farm.

Why meatless on Mondays? Not only is eating less animal protein a healthy diet choice, but curbing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact too. In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture accounted for a full 19 percent of greenhouse gases—more than the transportation sector. Best of all, with recipes like these, going meatless can be a delicious weekly habit.

It has begun. Thanksgiving marked the start of decadent eating that will continue through the beginning of January. In my family, we celebrated with roasted turkey and rich side dishes, and even the salads were hearty. Oh the desserts. Between the pumpkin chiffon cheesecake and the silky chocolate pudding, there were sweet potato pie (made rich with cream) and cranberry pound cake (made rich with butter). I feel like I’ve already had my fill of over-the-top fare. Yet it’s easy to forget the simple food—those satisfying dishes that rely on plain ingredients to make them so wonderful. I’m talking about the potato, mostly, and its understated ability to be wonderful, mostly, all by itself.

Of course, this time of year, even the potato is elevated into layers of gratin and riced into the creamiest of mashes. But dialing things back helps me remember just how great simple food can be.

With Thanksgiving behind me and Christmas still a few weeks out, this is a time for simple—as simple as a handful of potatoes. Yesterday I placed a few fingerlings in a pot with water to boil, then smashed them, exposing the creamy flesh, and fried them with an onion in olive oil before topping them with an egg. At a time of year when we give thanks by gussying up our food, it is easy to lose track of the easiest things to be thankful for. I’m starting with the potato.

Fingerling Potato Hash

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
4 large eggs

Directions

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with room-temperature water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a boil and cook until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool to warm. Gently smash the potatoes, exposing their flesh but keeping them intact.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot; then stir in the onion, potatoes, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes, turning once or twice, until the exposed flesh is golden in places, about 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a serving plate. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook to desired doneness; then top the potatoes with the eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.