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New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.
Jersey Royals are the best known variety, and their appearance in late April heralds the beginning of the summer. Other varieties include Pentland Javelin and salad potatoes, which are best eaten cold.
You don't need to peel new potatoes; just scrub gently with a soft brush or cloth, then rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, put the potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavour of the butter or oil (this way you will also use less).
New potatoes can be boiled whole and served as a side dressed in a little olive oil or butter, but they also work well in curries and stews as they hold their shape well. Try bulking out a Thai curry, a summer chicken stew, or using them cooked and sliced in a frittata.
Store new potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. They should be used within a few days of purchase.
New potatoes are in season from April to July.
Choose new potatoes that are firm, dry and blemish-free. Unwashed potatoes last longer as the dirt protects them from bruising and general deterioration.
Try sweet potato.