How to buy
Many varieties of potato are available in New Zealand all year round, and it is recommended that you choose the type that is best suited to your cooking needs. Starchy potatoes (such as Agria) are ideal for baking and roasting, as they contain less water and are fluffy when cooked. Meanwhile, waxy potatoes (such as Nadine and Draga) contain more water and are quite dense, and will hold their shape when cooked. Waxy potatoes are ideal for mashing and soups. If you are going to bake your potatoes, try to make sure they are similar size so they will bake evenly.
How to store
Potatoes are best stored in a dry, dark place with good ventilation, as too much light can cause them to turn green and start to sprout. Potatoes also bruise easily, so you should handle them gently and, where possible, leave them in the container they came in from the store. Avoid using potatoes if they feel damp.
- Dauphinoise Potatoes make the perfect side dish. Place thin slices of potato in a baking tray and cover with a mix of cream and cheese (you can also add garlic and thyme for extra flavour). Bake in the oven for an hour or until the potatoes are tender.
- Soak raw, peeled potatoes before roasting to remove the starch and achieve maximum crispness. Make sure they are dry before placing in a roasting pan, drizzling with olive oil and topping with fresh rosemary, and putting in the oven.
- Make homemade gnocchi by kneading boiled potatoes with plain flour and egg until a dough forms. Roll out into a ¾-inch rope and then slice into gnocchi. Boil the gnocchi for two to four minutes, then serve with your favourite pasta sauce.
- Potato and leek soup is a great option for cooler days. Sauté sliced leeks with onion and garlic, then add chopped potatoes and vegetable stock and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Blend until smooth then return to a simmer, before serving with a parmesan cheese twist.
Potatoes are full of nutritional benefits needed for a healthy lifestyle. They provide carbohydrates, and are one of the most energy-packed vegetables. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, fibre, magnesium and antioxidants – and, surprisingly, have more potassium than a banana.