This recipe for pesto potatoes is made for those times when you need a quick and easy side dish. Pesto and potatoes just belong together. You can whip these potatoes up while you’re cooking the rest of your meal because it’s really that simple. Pesto baby potatoes make a great side for tofu or mushroom steaks and you can throw leftovers into a bowl with a bunch of other goodies for a filling dinner. I usually make pesto baby potatoes for a last minute potluck item because they reheat nicely or you can leave them in a slow cooker on warm all morning and have them ready for lunch with no prep.
Pretty much just steam your baby potatoes until tender. When they’re soft and fluffy turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Make sure there is a little water still in your pan so that the pesto gets adequately dispersed. If there is no water left add in one to two tablespoons. You want all the potatoes coated in basil-y goodness. You can use any potatoes you like but I prefer baby potatoes, aka new potatoes, because they won’t get mushy while cooking and are ridiculously silky inside.
This is a fantastic way to use up all the basil that grows this time of year. It’s super cheap at the farmer’s market right around this time if you don’t grow your own. The nice thing about basil is you can grow it anywhere that’s sunny. I have a big old pot of it on my patio. I always try to bring my basil in once the weather starts cooling down but it dies. Every year. Which is ok because I just dry what I can’t use and then I have basil all winter long until it gets warm again. I just need to accept that basil is seasonal. For these pesto potatoes I used the sunflower arugula pesto that I posted a few days ago as the pesto component. I love that pesto because it’s made without any oil so you get all the pesto flavor instead of a fat bomb. You make your own or use premade pesto but be wary because store bought pesto is usually all oil.
After your baby potatoes are good and pesto-ed up you will need to add the greens. You can either add the greens to your serving dish and plop the potatoes on top or toss the greens and potatoes together before serving. I usually serve the potatoes on a bed of greens if I’m eating them at home and toss if I’m taking them to a party. Either way is delicious. You can use any greens you want but I like arugula. One it matches the pesto. Also arugula tastes amazing just slightly wilted so it still has a little crispness and the flavor also mellows a bit with the warmth. You will want to serve these potatoes warm so if you have your potatoes heating in a crockpot all day wait until just before eating to toss in the arugula.
Pesto Baby Potatoes with Arugula
- 2 lbs baby potatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 tbsp pesto
- 1 1/2 cup arugula
- Additional salt and black pepper to taste
- Wash and scrub potatoes. To a large, flat bottomed pan add water, salt and potatoes and cover. Heat on high until water begins to boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and stir in pesto. Toss in arugula, salt and pepper and serve immediately.