RAGOUT OF FINGERLING POTATOES, NICOISE OLIVES, AND SWEET ONIONS
From: The Ethical Gourmet by Jay Weinstein
Though common culinary terms for potato texture like "starchy" and "waxy" are oddly unappetizing, they convey the experience on your palate very well. Fingerlings do have a texture that resists the bite only a little, but never becomes crumbly like a baking potato or mushy like a Maine potato. Some waxy potatoes are French fingerlings, Yellow Finnish, Red Bliss, and round white. They're wonderful in stews (such as this ragout) because they hold their shape and take on the flavors with which they're cooked. This recipe can be cooked a day ahead and reheated just before serving.
Serves: 4 as an Appetizer, 2 as a Main Course
• 1 pound French fingerling or other waxy potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
• 4 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 fresh rosemary sprig (about 4 inches)
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1/2 cup Nicoise or other black olives, pitted and halved
• 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Parboil the potatoes until tender but firm. Drain, toss with a teaspoon of olive oil, and set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the rosemary and bay leaves; warm until the rosemary sizzles. Add the onions, garlic, and olives. Cook slowly and gently, sweating the onions until they are translucent and very soft, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir once to incorporate; cook 1 minute more.
Splash in the wine; simmer to steam out the alcohol, 1 minute. Add the potatoes; simmer until heated through. Stir in the butter and parsley. The dish should have a saucy consistency—add a few drops of water, if necessary. Season liberally with salt and pepper.