Welcome to The CSA Coach, where Jenn, our digital food editor, doles out advice to first-time CSA subscriber and digital features editor, Ashley. This week’s episode addresses the mixed blessings of too many potatoes.
Now that we’re in the peak season, I’m getting veggies that I’m more familiar with like corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. When I say I’m getting potatoes, we’re talking bags and bags of potatoes. I’ve made mashed potatoes and potato salad. I put them in pasta. I boil them and salt them. And I still have four bags left. I obviously can’t freeze them as they are. What are the best ways to preserve them?
The great thing about potatoes is that you can store them for much longer than most other vegetables. You’ll want to follow a few storage guidelines to keep your potatoes in good shape until you’re ready to use them, though.
They keep best in a dark, well-ventilated, cool (but not cold) place. I recommend a paper bag – NOT plastic — folded over a couple of times and stashed in the garage, if you have one, or at least the coolest spot in your kitchen. Why do this? Light and heat will make potatoes turn green and sprout; the cold temps of the refrigerator will start converting the starches to sugars, resulting in some weird-tasting potatoes; and trapped moisture will speed up decay. (Have you ever smelled a rotting potato? It’s hard to believe that vegetable matter is even capable of being that stinky.)
For the most part, I wouldn’t really recommend freezing potatoes. Freezing and thawing tends to make potatoes mealy and spongy, whether mashed, roasted, or in soup. However, I’ve had good luck with freezing potato gnocchi. Once the gnocchi are formed, freeze them on a baking sheet and then bag them. When you’re ready to eat them, just add them directly to boiling water without thawing first.
And of course, you’ll find plenty more ideas for what to do with potatoes in our Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide.
Do you have a question for the CSA Coach? Leave it in the comments!