Fingerling Potatoes

Beginning about May in Northern California, you will see pretty little bags of small fingerling potatoes at the grocery. This year was an early year with great weather, and we cooked lots of potatoes, some for salad, some just to enjoy with a little butter or EVOO with grilled fish or meat. These are potatoes that are smooth and creamy in texture, sometimes called waxy, rather than starchy like russet or kennebec varieties. They make lousy baked potatoes. But that’s ok. The starchy ones keep well all winter, so we will bake them later.

The main thing about the fingerlings – no matter what color – is that the can be flavored and seasoned during the cooking process. This step results in potatoes that are yummy right out of the pot. Here is a foolproof recipe. Serve them hot right away, or cool them and make potato salad.


Here’s a simple recipe:

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, any color, I’m just not too fond of the purple because they are denser
1 oz garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 oz. fresh thyme springs
3/4 oz. salt
a goodly amount of freshly ground black pepper
4 cups water


Crush the garlic using the side of a knife.


Combine all ingredients in a suitable pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierce with a small knife, about ten minutes.


Drain into a colander, and allow to cool. Serve right away with butter or EVOO, or make a salad after they cool.


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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.