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These roast potatoes have a colorful difference

Recipe: Roasted purple potatoes with Provencal herbs

Unlike some purple vegetables, these potatoes retain their color when roasted.

Unlike some purple vegetables, these potatoes retain their color when roasted.

Debbie Arrington

What’s the perfect herb to go with purple potatoes? Lavender, of course!
Just harvested and washed.

Lavender flowers are part of the distinctive mixture that makes up Herbs de Provence, which also includes rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savory and other herbs native to southern France. Combined with garlic salt and coarse ground black pepper, this herb mix is a flavorful complement to roast potatoes – no matter the color.

Purple potatoes taste much like their white- or yellow-fleshed cousins (their flavor and texture are usually compared to russets). They tend to cook a little faster and don’t need peeling. They can be substituted into almost any recipe that calls for a starchy potato.

The main difference: Antioxidants. Purple potatoes have about three times the antioxidants of a white-fleshed potato.

Purple potatoes get their distinctive hue from anthocyanin, the same compound found in blueberries. Half a baked purple potato has just as much of this antioxidant as a half cup of blueberries.

Unlike some colorful veggies, purple potatoes retain their rich color when cooked, which makes them a fun food to try. (Purple fries, anyone?)

Try these roasted purple potatoes as a side dish to grilled or roast meat, fish or chicken.

Provencal purple potatoes

Makes 4 servings


1 pound purple potatoes, washed and eyes removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

½ cup chopped onion


Still purple inside when cooked.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with foil. Set aside.

Depending on size, cut purple potatoes into wedges or quarters.

In a large bowl, mix olive oil, herbs, garlic salt and pepper. Toss potatoes in herb mixture to coat and spread potatoes in foil-lined pan. Toss chopped onion in bowl with remaining oil and herbs, then add the onions to the potatoes in the sheet pan.

Bake in a 400-degree oven until the potatoes are fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve.


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For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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