New potatoes with fresh mint are light and simple side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to so many spring dishes. It’s one of those “non-recipe” recipes that was a staple at the catering company where I worked in London. It was one of the most popular accompaniments on our wedding menu during spring and early summer. No matter what main dish was served, it seemed as though every weekend new potatoes with fresh mint were on the menu. As common as this dish is in England, I almost never run across it here in the states.
What is a “new potato”?
New potatoes are not a variety of potato, but rather a growing stage. The most flavorful are those that are harvested when they are quite small. Unlike mature potatoes, new potatoes have thin skins, so they do not require peeling. This is most likely one of the reasons we served them so frequently, as the labor was significantly less than older potatoes which need to be peeled!
I like red potatoes, but any variety potato will work as long as they are very tiny potatoes. Typically a new potato is no bigger than 1 1/2″ in diameter. It used to be much harder to find really small new potatoes like I’d find in England, but now many produce companies are specifically marketing them as “new potatoes”. You should be able to find them in grocery stores and farmers markets in the late spring and early summer.
How do you prepare new potatoes?
This is such an easy side dish with very little prep. While they are certainly delicious roasted, I’m sharing the method we used at the catering company. They are gently boiled in salted water on the stove-top until fork-tender. Then toss them with butter and fresh herbs. I love to use fresh mint, which is an unexpected, but delicious herb especially with these little potatoes. I search out the produce bin for the smallest ones I can find, or purchase a bag of pre-sorted baby potatoes. Fresh mint is a must, so if you don’t have any growing in your garden, purchase fresh. Use the best butter you can afford as well.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously with kosher salt or Redmond’s Real salt.
- Add the potatoes and reduce to medium heat. Gently boil until a fork inserted in largest potato pierces easily.
- Drain them. Return to the pot, and add butter to sauce pan swirling until melted. Toss with fresh mint, stirring gently to coat. Season with a sprinkle salt and black pepper.
- Cooking time will vary depending on size of your potatoes.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Variations for cooking new potatoes
- Substitute extra virgin olive oil for the butter.
- Use fresh parsley instead of mint.
- Oregano and olive oil will give them a Mediterranean twist.
- Avoid using dried herbs if you can help it.
What to serve with new potatoes
Looking for more potato side dishes?
How about Fingerling Smashed Potatoes?
Pommes Anna is a traditional French side dish.
Rosti is a traditional Swiss potato dish.
Roasted Fingerlings with Tarragon Aioli.
Interested in learning more about potatoes? Here’s a guide to French potatoes!
Minted New Potatoes
- Place new potatoes in a large sauce pan with cold water and cover by 1 inch.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer covered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the largest potato comes is easily pierced and slightly tender. Test a few potatoes if they are very different in size. Don’t over-cook. (Time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes)
- Remove from heat, drain water, then re-cover the pot and let the potatoes “dry out” a bit, covered for about 5 minutes.
- Toss with butter until it’s completely melted. Toss with fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper.