Valley Bounty: Potatoes
Human beings eat a lot of potatoes. They are currently the fourth-largest food crop by tonnage on the planet (after corn, wheat, and rice). USDA data suggests that the average American consistently eats over a hundred pounds of potatoes each year. Only about a third of the potatoes produced in the US are sold raw—almost all of the other two thirds (besides a small amount used for seed) are processed into products like chips, frozen French fries, and potato starch.
We sometimes use the expression “meat and potatoes” to describe something we think is predictable and uninspired, but of course there’s no reason to condemn either of those foods to such a fate. What potatoes may lack in pizzazz they more than make up for in versatility, I think. Making Hassleback potatoes is easier than it seems; make cuts every 1/8in. or so along the length of a whole potato, stopping just short of cutting all the way through (resting the potato in a spoon can help). Place the potato cut-side up in a baking dish and drizzle with butter, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425°F until browned, usually about an hour. Sprinkle on a little Parmesan if you like, and serve.
Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)