roasted fingerling potatoes with crisped capers in lemon chive creme fraiche

meatless monday
notes from maggie's farm

"I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them."
Nora Ephron, ‘Heartburn’

When my mother's family gathered around the dinner table, you could always count on two things.  There would be lots of girls— we women ruled the table.  And that table would include at least one potato dish.  At least one, and sometimes more.  But no special occasion would be celebrated without the hallowed mashed potato, buttered profusely, and accompanied by a bowl of sliced green onions.  Because we 'spud sisters', so self-named and proudly proclaimed, demanded potatoes.  REAL potatoes.  It wasn't until I was grown and out of the house that I even knew of or tasted instant potatoes. (It was a most unfortunate event.)      

So it will come as no surprise that I adore potatoes.  In fact, if life batters me a bit, the antidote is potatoes.  Most often that would be the coup de comfort: mashed potatoes, buttered, topped with green onions.  Which leads to a personal pharmaceutical theory--Potatoes: The Prozac of Produce. 
Realizing that one perhaps shouldn't live on mashed potatoes alone, I am willing to explore potatoes served-otherwise-than-mashed.  And in my explorations, this little version has become a most-requested dish.    
Fingerlings are personal favorites.  I love the crispy peel to potato ratio, and the concentrated earthy potato punch.  Roasting seems to elicit a slight sweetness and particularly complements them.  
Mashed, smashed, chunked or whole—the choice is yours—but anyway you slice them, pass the potatoes please.

roasted fingerling potatoes with crisped capers in lemon chive creme fraiche

Drizzle 2 lbs whole fingerlings with olive oil and season with fleur de sel and coarsely ground black pepper.  Roast at 375 degrees about 45 minutes, or until tender peels are crisped, and interior is fork-tender.  Meanwhile, prepare 1-2 T capers by draining well and pan toasting in ½ tsp olive oil, over medium to high heat until slightly crisped.  Drain on paper toweling.  

To 8 oz. crème fraiche (see note) fold in the zest of one large lemon, ¼ t fleur de sel, and 1T chopped fresh chives.  Thin, if necessary (you'll want the consistency to be a bit thinner than that of sour cream), with no more than 1t. fresh lemon juice.  Set aside.  Transfer roasted potatoes to a bowl, smash lightly, top with crème fraiche, and sprinkle capers atop.  Correct seasonings. 

This can also be served cold.  Smash potatoes and allow to come to room temperature.  Fold in crème fraiche and capers.  Refrigerate to chill.

If unprocessed crème fraiche is not readily available, you can easily approximate with homemade crème fraiche,  which we will tackle tomorrow, on

Tips for Tuesday:  Making Homemade Crème Fraiche.

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