Purple potatoes are so striking, and even more so when paired with the bright orange of a sweet potato. Roasting them together with whole spices and showering them with a garlicky, hot chili-and-herb condiment warms your belly in the deep winter, and they go with practically anything, especially black beans and rice. Turn them into a full brunch by topping some with poached eggs and hollandaise, or serve them hot out of the oven as finger food for the big game. If hot chilies aren’t your thing, just leave them out—they’ll be delicious either way.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish, more as a finger food appetizer.
2 pounds purple potatoes, oblong in shape, if possible; well scrubbed
4 long, skinny sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup minced flat leaf Italian parsley
¾ cup minced cilantro
1 Serrano or jalapeño chili, minced (remove seeds and membrane for less heat, or include them if you like it hot)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into wedges, lengthwise, and as uniform in size and shape as you can (if your purple potatoes are more round than oblong, cutting them into wedges will be just fine).In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Using the back of a small skillet, crush the cumin and coriander seeds on a cutting board (or just use a mortar and pestle), and add them to the bowl; toss to combine.
Spread the potatoes evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you may need two trays so they’re not crowded) and roast in the hot oven, stirring occasionally, until tender all the way through and browned and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the chimichurri. Chop the parsley and cilantro finely and place in a bowl; stir in the minced chili (if using), garlic, and lemon zest. Moisten the sauce with a bit of the lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil to form a paste, and season with salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are crispy and cooked through, remove from the oven and transfer to a large serving bowl, making sure to scrape in all the toasted seeds from the parchment. Toss with the chimichurri and serve right away.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, soccer mom, Italophile and managing editor at Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.