Easy boiled potatoes tossed in butter and flavored with parsley. Known as Petersilienkartoffeln this classic German side dish is traditional for many meat, poultry and fish mains.
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Read on for useful tips and step-by-step pictures (1-2 mins)
About These Boiled Potatoes with Butter & Parsley
This is an incredibly simple recipe. It all comes down to boiling peeled potatoes and once they are fork tender and tossing them in melted butter dotted with freshly chopped parsley and seasoning them. The style of preparation is ubiquitos across Germany and the side is commonly served alongside Schnitzel, boneless pork shoulder roast, roasted pork knuckle, pan seared salmon or trout and even Matjes herring fillets.
The most important consideration you have is the type of potato to use. German potatoes offer multiple options in terms of varieties and for Petersilienkartoffel (Parslied potatoes) typically a yellow festkochend (waxy) sort is used. In the US opt for Yukon gold or one of the alternatives suggested below.
Boiling potatoes. Waxy potatoes are best for boiling because they retain their shape well and have a creamy, smooth and moist texture. Their flavors vary slightly based on the sort. Besides Yukon gold potatoes or other yellow varieties such as baby golds, Yellow Finn, Agata, Santina and Bintje are great, also French fingerling or new potatoes (when in season). You can also use red potatoes. Avoid Russet potatoes for this recipe as they are too starchy.
Aromatics (optional). Spices such as peppercorns and bay leaf or aromatics like garlic help infuse the potatoes with flavor. You do not have to use them, but if you are only tossing the potatoes in butter and are skipping the parsley it is very helpful to add a few flavoring agents to the boiling water.
Butter. Because once melted it essentially becomes the sauce for your boiled potatoes choose a good quality butter such as Irish or other European – the less water it contains, the better.
Parsley and S&P. Flat leaf parsley is traditionally used but curly works too. Use kosher or sea salt when seasoning at the end and remember that if you salted the water for boiling some of the salt already made its way into the spuds. Freshly cracked black pepper is recommended. Chives or dill are good alternatives if you do not like parsley.
How Long Does It Take to Boil Potatoes?
It all depends on the exact variety and the size. The time to reach perfect tenderness could vary from 10 minutes to 20 minutes or so. Simply test with a fork to detemine doneness – it should slide into the potato easily. Naturally, small potatoes will boil faster than medium potatoes or large potatoes.
NOTE: Do not boil the potatoes to the point where they become mushy. If when you check them it looks like they are leaning to the overdone side stop the cooking process by immediately taking them out of the hot water and placing them in an ice water bath to cool down.
Step-by-Step Workflow for This Easy Side Dish
Prep. Peel and clean the potatoes. Cut any larger ones into halves or quarters. Ideally you want them all to be about the size of new potatoes or just a bit larger.
Boil. To boil the potatoes place them in a large pot and completely cover them with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and any aromatics you want to use and bring to boil (do not simmer). When done, drain and set aside for a minute. While the potatoes are boiling chop finely chop the parsley leaves (discard or freeze the stalks in a bag for when you make chicken broth).
Toss in butter. Melt the butter in a pan large enough to accomodate all the boiled potatoes. (Alternatively work in batches). Stir in the parsley, add the potatoes and gently move them around with a spoon until completly covered. Season with salt and pepper while still in the pan or transfer to a dish and season there.
TIP: Serve a small bowl of extra melted butter with chopped parsley alongside the potatoes – they can absorb a lot more than the small amount used to coat them and typically people enjoy drizzling some extra butter over their portion.
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- 2 lbs waxy yellow potatoes*
- Kosher salt, as needed (to flavor boiling water and season)
- 2 bay leaves (optional, to flavor boiling water)
- 6-8 peppercorns (optional, to flavor boiling water)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional, to flavor boiling water)
- 3 tbsp butter
- small bunch flat-leaf parsley
- pepper, freshly ground, to season
- Peel and clean the potatoes. Cut any larger ones in half or quarter them. You need uniform pieces the size of new potatoes. If using very thin skinned potatoes you may simply thorughly scrub them.
- Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with cold water (cover completely with about two inches extra). Salt the water (optional) with a coule of pinches of salt. Add any flavoring agents such as peppercorns, garlic or bay leaf. Bring to boil and boil for 10 to 20 minutes or until cooked, then drain. Discard any flavoring agents.
- While the potatoes are boiling finely chop the parsley leaves.
- In a pan over medium heat melt the butter until it begins to foam and stir in the parsley. Add the drained potatoes and gently move them around the pan with a spoon until they are coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper.
*Yukon gold or any of the other varieties suggested in the post such as fingerling, new potatoes, baby golds etc.
For butter lovers offer a small bowl of extra melted butter with parsley - present it alongside the potatoes so they may add a bit to their serving.
Be sure to read the post for additional tips.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g