Ukrainian-Style Dill Potatoes

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Indulge in a gastronomic adventure that pays tribute to the vibrant flavors of spring with our innovative rendition of a classic side dish – Ukrainian-Style Dill Potatoes. This delightful recipe captures the essence of Ukrainian cuisine, where simplicity meets culinary excellence. Comprising just four humble ingredients – potatoes, dill, garlic, and sunflower oil – this dish magically combines them into a symphony of taste and aroma. Each forkful of creamy boiled potatoes carries the enchanting scent of fresh dill, the invigorating kick of garlic, and the nutty richness of virgin sunflower oil, a cherished hallmark of Ukrainian culinary tradition.

Whether enjoyed as a sunrise companion to pickled herring, sprats, and salted smoked mackerel (a choice that can easily overshadow the appeal of Eggs Benedict), or as an evening pairing with succulent chicken schnitzel or crispy fried fish, these Ukrainian-Style Dill Potatoes will transport your taste buds to the heart of springtime in Ukraine. A time when local, organic ingredients take center stage in every household, this dish stands as a genuine celebration of the season.

Three Tips for Crafting the Ultimate Dill Potatoes:

  1. Embrace the Sunflower Oil: The true essence of these potatoes lies within the embrace of unrefined sunflower oil. This golden elixir possesses a delightful interplay of nutty and floral notes, akin to the finest olive oils. While it’s readily available in tall plastic bottles throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, and online marketplaces like Amazon, it’s worth highlighting its versatility. Much like premium olive oil, sunflower oil can elevate salads, enhance bean dishes, or grace toasted bread with its presence. In this recipe, don’t hold back – generously coat your boiled potatoes with a quarter-cup of this liquid gold. While it might seem like an abundance, rest assured, it’s just the right amount to work its flavorful magic.
  2. Keep the Potatoes Whole or Chopped: The potato’s size should determine its fate. Petite new baby potatoes deserve to be cooked whole to preserve their delicate charm. For larger specimens, a gentle 1-inch chunk size is ideal. Furthermore, when simmering these spuds, start with cool, soothing water instead of a rolling boil to ensure the perfect texture.
  3. Opt for a Garlic Press: While garlic presses may have received a mixed reputation due to their single-purpose nature, they shine when it comes to extracting garlic’s essential oils and finely mincing cloves. For these dill-infused potatoes, a garlic press emerges as the unsung hero of your kitchen, guaranteeing that every morsel carries the full flavor of this aromatic herb.

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of small new potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of unrefined sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh dill
  • Directions:
  • Begin your culinary journey by assembling 2 pounds of new potatoes. If they happen to be on the larger side, treat them to a gentle 1-inch chunking.
  • Now, prepare a spacious pot, and add enough water to submerge your potatoes with about a 10-inch cushion. Introduce 2 teaspoons of salt into the water, then securely lid the pot. Place it on your stovetop over medium heat, and patiently await the water’s lively boil. Once reached, reduce the heat to low, allowing your potatoes to tenderly simmer, still under the comforting veil of the lid. When a fork gracefully pierces the potatoes, they’re ready.
  • As your potatoes simmer away, it’s time to turn your attention to the garlic. You have two options: either work your garlic cloves through a trusty garlic press or meticulously mince them into submission. Whichever path you choose, the goal is to extract the garlic’s essential oils and reduce it to minuscule pieces. Combine the crushed garlic with 1/4 cup of sunflower oil and mix until these partners harmonize seamlessly. Additionally, finely chop 1/2 cup of fresh dill to prepare for the final flavor flourish.
  • With the potatoes tender and drained, return them to the waiting pan. Here comes the grand finale: drizzle the garlic-infused oil over your cooked potatoes, followed by the generous shower of freshly chopped dill. Sprinkle a pinch more salt to taste, and now it’s showtime. Gently toss all these magnificent elements together, ensuring each potato is cocooned in the flavors of spring. As the final touch, savor the dish, and if necessary, fine-tune the seasoning with an extra pinch of salt.

In these few steps, you have not just prepared a meal but embarked on a sensory journey through Ukrainian culinary tradition. Ukrainian-Style Dill Potatoes encapsulate the essence of spring, reminiscent of the bustling Odessa Farmer’s Market, where the bounty of local, organic produce shines brightly. Now, share this extraordinary recipe with friends and family, and savor the taste of Ukrainian heritage, all within the comfort of your home. It’s a celebration of the finest flavors of spring that will have you returning to the kitchen for more.

picture source: the kitchn / Alexandra Shytsman