The intense color of these purple potatoes makes them a unique and attractive side dish, and the cilantro and garlic in these roasted potatoes add just the right amount of flavor.
There are several varieties of purple potatoes, including the Peruvian, Purple Fiesta, Purple Majesty, and others. The purple potato originated in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia.They might have been rare in the past, but these days you can find them in most major supermarkets.
Like other varieties, purple potatoes are high in potassium, and they are similar to the Russet potato in calories, protein, and carbs. What sets purple potatoes apart from the others (besides their gorgeous color) is their antioxidant content. They contain about four times the antioxidants when compared to Russet potatoes. The antioxidants make the potassium even more useful for lowering blood pressure, and antioxidants may help prevent some heart diseases and strengthen the immune system.
Because purple potatoes are medium starch, they are versatile and hold their shape quite well. They can be used in just about any recipe calling for potatoes. Scrub the potatoes but leave the skin on for the extra nutrients.
Feel free to add some cooked crumbled bacon to the roasted potatoes for smoky flavor. Or add a few tablespoons of fresh chopped mild or hot chili peppers or sweet bell pepper before they go into the oven.
- 2 1/2 pounds purple potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh leaf thyme (or a generous 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme)
- Heat oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Brush a large rimmed baking pan or roasting pan with olive oil or spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Scrub the potatoes well and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Toss them in a bowl with the minced garlic, fresh chopped cilantro (if using), olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the prepared pan.
- Roast the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned and tender, occasionally turning.
Tips and Variations
- Air Fryer: Reduce the olive oil to 2 tablespoons and cook the potatoes at 360 F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're tender. Stir the potatoes after about 10 minutes.
- Roasted Red, White, and Purple Potatoes: Combine equal amounts of red potatoes, white or gold potatoes, and purple potatoes to make about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. Scrub the red potatoes but leave the skins on for color, if possible. Proceed with the recipe.
- Root Vegetable Roast With Purple Potatoes: Use 1 pound of purple potatoes, 1/2 pound of white or red-skinned potatoes, 2 small peeled and cut-up turnips, and 1/2 to 1 cup of baby carrots. Add 1 onion, cut into wedges, and use fresh chopped parsley instead of cilantro.
- Roasted Purple Potatoes With Parsley and Rosemary: Replace the cilantro with 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and replace the thyme with 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary or about 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled dried rosemary.