Saturday, April 8, 2017

Steamed Potatoes in Garlic Oil

I should really call these Matosinhos potatoes. Why? Because we ate platefuls of these in the fishing village of Matosinhos in Portugal. Located on the outskirts of Porto, the town boasts a street of well frequented fish restaurants. They specialize in charcoal grill cooking, which are set up on the street in the evening. You get to pick a fresh of the boat assortment of Mediterranean fish, like dourade, sardines, swordfish. Whole fish is grilled roadside as you watch in mouthwatering anticipation. It is filleted tableside and served with sauteed cabbage and steamed potatoes bathed in garlic oil. The fish is buttery soft, paired with the sides, making for a perfect al fresco dinner.

The taste of this memorable meal stays with me weeks later. As I pan fry tilapia, a pot of fingerlings steam alongside. I simmer a large glug of extra virgin olive oil along with copious amounts of chopped garlic and parsley. Once the potatoes are done and salted, they are smothered in garlicky olive oil. Believe me..they taste heavenly!

Serves 4

1 lb Fingerling Potatoes (any small waxy potatoes)
1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons chopped Garlic
2 tablespoons chopped Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 

Fill a saucepan with an inch of water.

Place a steamer rack in the pan.

Arrange potatoes in the steamer.

Place pan over medium heat. When water comes to a boil, cover and steam for 10-15 minutes till potatoes are cooked. Poke with a knife tip to see if they are cooked. Keep them warm.

Heat olive oil over low heat.

Add garlic to oil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Do not let the garlic turn brown.

Add parsley to oil.

Arrange potatoes on a platter.

Season with salt.

Pour garlic infused oil over potatoes.

Serve with grilled or pan fried fish or any protein of choice.


One bite and I am transported to that sidewalk table in Matosinhos. The memory of that warm spring evening, charcoal embers floating in the air, a glass of vinho verde in hand, a forkful of grilled sea bream along with mouthful of garlicky potato is still my heart and stomach!!!