Sometimes, I am like the Cookie Monster with potatoes. Potatoes! Spuds have been one of my favorite foods for as long as I can remember. I mean, what’s not to love about a starchy root vegetable that is inherently diverse, delicious and decadent?!
From rich and creamy potato soup to buttery mashed potatoes to crispy potato latkes to smashed potatoes with craggy edges that take your breath away to oven-baked French fries to the perfect baked potato? There are so many ways to enjoy tubers. And they are popping up at the Santa Fe Farmers Market right now, which is one of several reasons why I made these Ukrainian Dill Potatoes.
As I sit at home and watch the news of the Ukrainian-Russian war that has been going on for more than a month, it’s agonizing not to be able to do anything to help–or stop the Russian invasion. The stories and pictures are devastating, yet the Ukrainians persist. In their honor, I made this dish to recognize their fierce fight, ignited spirit and unpenetrable grit. And I am lifting them up from afar with one ingredient that is at the heart of their cuisine, potatoes.
Food is a common denominator and something that unites us. When I came across this recipe on thekitchn.com, I was called into action and planned a meal around these Ukrainian dill potatoes. My grandmother always used dill–in potato soup, with roasted beets, in salads and tuna salad. This was a staple herb in her culinary repertoire and it always reminds me of her.
These potatoes are so simple and so dill-icious. Four basic ingredients come together to make a flavorful dressing to add to the boiled potatoes. Sunflower oil, minced or grated garlic, salt and lots of chopped dill. That’s it. This dish looks like spring in a bowl.
The bright green color, the herby aroma and heady garlic immediately catch your attention. Soft potatoes coated in garlic oil with salt and dill. How is it that I have never had this before? Now that I have, the recipe is permanently emblazoned in my brain so I can make it whenever the occasion or craving hits.
It is my hope that by sharing this simple potato recipe, we can all come together and cook in the kitchen to honor the amazing Ukrainians as they continue to fight to protect their country and their people.
Ukrainian Dill Potatoes
These simple and delicious potatoes celebrate the arrival of spring and also honor the hard-fighting Ukrainians as they hold off the Russians. The combination of soft-boiled potatoes tossed with a slightly nutty flavored sunflower oil that has been melding with pressed garlic and salt is splendid. Add a big handful of fresh dill and it's off the charts.
This recipe can easily be halved, using 1 pound of potatoes--but be sure to cut the oil and garlic mixture in half as well as the dill. (Full disclosure--I made this mistake which is why I am pointing this out so you won't make the same mistake I did as it was wayyyy too garlicky--and I love garlic.)
- 2 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt plus more for seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced, grated on a Microplane or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup fresh dill finely chopped
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks, making sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by about 2 inches.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt, cover with a lid and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low and gently simmer with the lid ajar until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Once the water boils, this should take about 12-15 minutes, so be careful not to overcook the potatoes.
While the potatoes are cooking, grate 3 cloves garlic on a Microplane or through a garlic press or mince finely and place in a small bowl.
Add 1/4 sunflower oil and stir to combine and then let the flavors meld.
Finely chop the fresh dill until you have about 1/2 a cup and set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and return the potatoes to the pot.
Add the garlic oil and a generous pinch of salt to the potatoes and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the dill over the top and toss again to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Serve and enjoy. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days.