“The world’s joy
sizzling in olive oil.
to be fried
enter the skillet,
of a morning swan –
and they leave
half-braised in gold,
gift of the crackling ember
– from “Ode to Fried Potatoes” by Pablo Neruda
I come by my love of potatoes honestly. My mother’s side of the family is entirely of Irish origin. Her father’s great grandfather came to Canada in 1835, while her mother’s great grandfather came in 1838. In other words, they were well-established Canadian settlers more than a decade before the Irish potato famine. My ancestors continued farming in Canada and, in fact, some still do. Growing up a farmer’s daughter, I remember potatoes being part of nearly every supper my mom put on the table.
The potatoes in this recipe weren’t fried, but everything else Neruda wrote about them is true. They entered the oven on snowy wings, and, once roasted, exited half-braised in gold. (I don’t know about you, but just reading that line made me want to eat them all over again.) The potatoes came straight from the farmer’s market, so good they required only the subtlest of add-ins, like the jade of green onions and Neruda’s ember of olives.
Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad
(adapted from The Globe and Mail)
1 Tbsp olive oil (second amount)
“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