Those Pink Potatoes

Surprising color, surprisingly delicious

Summers back, friends hosted a backyard potluck, convening spirited folk from the different corners of their lives. The midsummer night was steamy, the kids rambunctious, the trees a rainbow of colored light, the Jimmy Buffet dulcet.

Food-wise, the talk of the party was the ‘pink potatoes’, a delicious make-ahead dish perfect for family dinners and friendly potlucks since it’s good both hot and barely warm. The beets and potatoes remain distinct but also melt together somehow in a tantalizing way.

THAT PINK SALAD My Canadian relatives make a family-dinner favorite routinely requested as, “You know, that ‘pink’ salad”. For my version, just toss romaine lettuce with toasted sunflower seeds, drained mandarin oranges and chopped red onion. Just before serving, barely wet the greens with a dressing whizzed in the blender: ¼ cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons reserved mandarin orange syrup, some red onion, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, a teaspoon of salt – plus the source of the blush, four maraschino cherries.

ALANNA's TIPS I love the perfectly thin and perfectly shaped layers from a vegetable slicer called a Benriner, a Japanese mandoline that sells for $30 to $40. To serve more people, just build five layers of potatoes and beets in a large baking dish with equivalently more cheese and cream.
Kitchen Parade is written by Kirkwood resident Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a recipe for a dish with an unusual color to e-mail.

THOSE PINK POTATOES

Surprising scalloped potatoes & beets
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: about 2 hours
Serves 8
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • Butter for greasing

  • 3 ounces fresh Parmesan, grated
  • 1½ cups half & half (not fat-free, which won’t set) or heavy cream
  • 1 pound red-skinned or Yukon gold potatoes, no need to peel
  • 1 pound small or medium fresh beets, trimmed and peeled
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh thyme, optional but nice

Preheat oven to 350F. Rub a shallow quiche pan or 9x9 glass baking dish with garlic, then butter. Measure cream, grate the cheese.

With a vegetable slicer (see ALANNA’s TIPS) or very sharp knife, slice potatoes and beets very thin. Build five layers, three potato layers on the bottom, top and middle with layers of beet between. Season each of the first four layers with salt and pepper; top with a handful of cheese and a splash of cream. Add the fifth layer, season, distribute remaining cheese on top, then carefully pour remaining cream over top, jiggling a bit to help it filter through.

Bake for 60 minutes, pressing to submerge the layers into the liquid after 20 and 40 minutes. Remove from oven. If slicing, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes; if scooping, serve immediately.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving with half & half/cream: Per Serving: 169/188Cal; 9/12g Tot Fat; 6/7g Sat Fat; 15/14g Carb; 3g Fiber; 231/221mg Sodium; 28/42 Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3/4 points

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Very pretty!
 
That potato dish has my name written all over it indeed:) Looks wonderful - and I love how I can get a sneak view of your garden through those pictures!
 
That sounds great, I'll make a point of looking for beets at the farmers' market today.
 
You are the beet queen, no matter if your Dad doesn't understand! (And I still don't like Louise Erdrich ...)
 
It's just so nice to look at and a different dish for the table.
 
That sounds great! I must try it! I like the idea of adding parmesan, in between the layers.
 
These are definite keepers Alanna. These dishes make for knock-out presentations.
 
Haven't written to you before as I don't get a chance to get on the computer very often but I have to tell you how much I appreciate your recipes. They really are wonderful and I use them all the time. Thank you so much for your effort.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna