If you read any of the foodie publications, you know there’s a big push towards reducing our food waste. From April Bloomfield’s carrot top pesto, to Dan Barber’s dumpster diving experiment, we’ve gone from nose-to-tail to root-to-stalk. In the spirit of using the whole potato, the Accidental Locavore did an experiment last night on some dinner guests. It’s not much of a recipe, but with the holidays on the horizon it’s a fun treat! While you’re (or whoever you’ve palmed off the chore to) peeling potatoes to mash, toss the peels in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or a Silpat, but it’s one more thing to wash) and pop them in a 400° degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until browned and crispy. Check for salt, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: They were great! These were a version of Yukon Golds, but any variety will work. Would have been better if I didn’t use really good olive oil from my Istria trip, which made them spicy but not in a great way. So don’t waste the good olive oil on them. A friend sent me some great bacon salt from San Francisco and that worked, but didn’t give it a lot of bacon flavor (could have been the sharpness of the oil, just drowning it out). Cooking up a couple of slices of bacon and crumbling it in would probably be a fine idea and you might be able to just roast the bacon with the potato peels. I had thought about using some truffle salt but these guests were only brave enough for some of my experiments. If you’re home alone (well, you’re probably not making mashed potatoes), or with a bunch of truffle lovers, some truffle salt (also a gift from my SF friends) would turn them into a luxurious treat! Another idea would be to chop up some rosemary or sage and add that to the oil.
I did grab a bunch of the roasted peels and tossed them with malt vinegar, which pleased me and one of my guests (she’s originally from the UK) so they were a big hit with us, but her husband was not a fan! If you’re into sweet potatoes, this might work well (tossed in brown sugar?), but since I’m not, you’ll have to tell me how it works.