Pink potatoes have been on the agenda since a brief stay in Florence earlier this year, where we ate at Cibreo Trattoria (we weren’t smartly dressed enough for the smart cafe). One of the side dishes served was a bowl of tiny hot-pink beetroot and potato cubes, and we couldn’t tell which was which veggie at first because the potatoes had absorbed all the pinkness of the beets during cooking.
This recipe idea was entirely a shot in the dark and next time I’ll make lots of changes to get a more assertive pink colour in the final product. I would recommend to skip the roasting part and serve them boiled. This pink needs to stand on its own two feet. Boiled hot pink new potatoes! Or pink potato salad!
So for the wedgies that I attempted, what you need to do is preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. While this is happening, bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Peel as many potatoes as you need and cut into wedgies of equal thickness (I used 2 large potatoes, and cut each into 8-10 wedges). For every potato, quarter a beetroot without bothering to peel or trim it. Don’t worry too much about those weird beetrooty tentacles; they probably won’t grab your hand.
Toss everything into the boiling water and allow to simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes. The potatoes need to absorb the pink colour without becoming mushy (Oh my word! Pink mash! How did I not think of that before?).
Drain, remove the beetroot (you could peel and wedge these too, at this point) and allow the residual heat of the wedgies to dry the surface out a bit. Very gently toss them in olive oil then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Don’t leave them standing for too long as they start to fade – sprinkle with salt and any other seasoning of your choice, then immediately bake for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
Unfortunately I didn’t allow my wedgies to simmer for long enough, and the colour does fade during roasting. I found that the wedges that were in direct contact with the beetroot wedges absorbed a lot more colour which is useful to know for next time, and gave a bit of a hippy-tie-dyed effect.
And after all of that, you will have pink potatoes fit for a princess! One of the best things about wedgies is that they allow a free hand for a book (or computer mouse), so if you’re a girl try The Princess Who Stood on Her Own Two Feet, it’s a great short story (I’m not being sexist or anything, but boys just don’t get this story; their brains are woefully inadequate).
PS: Until I prepared this I had never heard of Beeturia – best read this article in case you’re one of the 10-14% who are susceptible to it. I find the idea of pink pee hysterically funny (magical princess pee!) but it could give you a bit of a shock if you don’t know about it. Tee hee!
PPS: I just came across these naturally pink potatoes online – I wonder why they haven’t become wildly popular and more widely cultivated? Oh well, at least we have an interim potato-pink-alising method for now.