Although I do my very best to avoid night shade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants), there are times that I cannot resist creamy potatoes. When my children ask me what my favorite food is, my response is almost always potatoes. The rest of the time its pizza in case you were wondering. The nightshades are among my favorite vegetables, but about six months back I gave them up. You can only imagine how hard it was for someone such as myself to give up tomatoes right before summer, but I did it nonetheless. I did this because my body was literally blowing up like a balloon for no explained reason. I was eating an exemplary diet without sugar, gluten, or processed foods, but I was experiencing swelling that was impossible to comprehend. It was suggested to try giving up the nightshades in conjunction with a strict anti inflammatory diet. This was not easy to do, but it seemed to deliver results. I noticed the differences within a couple of weeks.
I would also like to share the fact that I currently have no indicators of Rheumatoid Arthritis in my blood work and have been off of all of my medications for over 5 months. I believe my success is due to a combination of dietary choices and exercise. I cannot say for certain if it is the avoidance of gluten, processed foods, excessive sugar, or nightshades, but I will continue on this path. You may wonder just how strict I am? Gluten is completely out of the question, and every now and then I will allow myself a meal that includes tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes. But everything else such as sugar and alcohol is taken in strict moderation.
I still love potatoes. The yellow fleshed varieties such as the Yukon Golds are my absolute favorites. They are creamy, sweet, and oh so satisfying. I like them roasted, mashed, or just about any way you could imagine. Simply boiling them and infusing them with a soft fragrant herb such as fresh tarragon while they are still hot makes a delicious potato salad or accompaniment to a meal.
Warm Tarragon Potato Salad
For all ingredients, please consider using those that have been grown organically.
|2 pounds||yellow fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold or fingerlings|
|3 tablespoons||olive oil|
|1 tablespoon||fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped|
|1 teaspoon||lemon zest|
|freshly ground black pepper|
|1-2 teaspoons||capers, optional|
Clean and prepare the potatoes. If they are very small, leave them just as they are. If they are fingerlings such as those pictured here, slice them into halves or thirds depending on their size. If they are larger, cut them into quarters or sixths. What you want are pieces that are approximately 3/4 inch in size.
Put the potatoes and about 2-3 teaspoons of sea salt into a stock pot filled with water and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.
Cook the potatoes for about 25-30 minutes until they are cooked through. You can test for doneness by piercing the potatoes with a knife or a fork. You should be able to pierce straight through without resistance.
Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and immediately put them back into the stock pot. Drizzle with olive oil and add the tarragon and lemon zest.
Use a large spoon and gently toss the hot potatoes with the oil and herbs. You want to more than just distribute the ingredients. You want the ingredients to infuse their flavors into the potatoes.
Take a taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you feel that more oil or tarragon is necessary, feel free to add it. Capers are also nice added to this dish if you like it more tangy.
Serve warm or at room temperature.