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French Word A Week: Pomme de terre

Saturday At The Market

Start with good potatoes.

I don’t know if you have noticed but I am not very good with routine. Monotony. Habits. I have my moments with continuity, stillness and straight lines. But as soon as Spring comes around, whoop-de-doo, I am like a butterfly. Especially when it comes to carbs as I found out while conversing with friends about our favorite carbohydrate.

I started with "Potatoes for sure!" only to recall a sudden love affair between my fork and a bowl of stir fried rice the week before. And let’s not forget the month I fixed myself a plate of spaghetti, sprinkle of basil, parmesan and olive oil everyday for lunch. Well, and beans. More so if they are surrounded with cassoulet. But deep down? I am a potato girl.


Wash them well and place in roasting pan.

So, you guessed it, the French Word A Week is "Potato" = Pomme de terre (click on word to hear the pronunciation).

I’m not "potatoes any way all day" though. Short of being able to cook them in the ashes of a good fire like we used to do back home, I’d rather have mine roasted than mashed. Come Spring and Summer and one of my favorite side dishes to make and eat is a simple bowl of warm roasted potatoes.


Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Every week at the farmers market, I load up on the tiniest white, red and purple potatoes I can find, wash them well, spread them out in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and voila! A light accompaniment to a nice steak on the grill or a weeknight omelette. Add some chopped oregano, thyme or basil and you can pair this with almost anything you like.

Roasted Potatoes

Roast at 375F until the potatoes are cooked through.

If you are planning a brunch or a picnic for Mother’s Day this weekend this salad would be particularly great to bring along. It requires very little actual making time, roasts itself up in 30 minutes and keeps well for hours at room temperature.


If you need more picnic ideas as the warm days roll in, you can find more options in this article I styled and photographed for Charleston Magazine. The print version with the full length article with more pictures and recipes will be available on news stands this week I hear. No one on the staff asked me to promote them but I do love when they hire me(obviously!) and I love that we have such high quality prints, artisans and creative minds here in town. Makes me proud. Thank you for indulging me.

Simple Roasted Potato Salad

Tada! Warm potato salad with oregano.

– wooden bowl: Star Provisions, Atlanta
– dark Ovenex roasting pans (8×8 and 9×13):
– wooden cutlery: Sprout Home
– other flatware/serving sets:

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whitneyingram May 7, 2010 um 11:03 pm

Few people can make potatoes look that decadent. Lady, you are pure magic behind the camera.

BTW, love the French word of the week feature. Keep it coming.

Jamie May 7, 2010 um 11:06 pm

Gorgeous! I love the simplicity of roasted potatoes.

Naomi May 7, 2010 um 11:12 pm

I love potatoes, and these look particularly stunning.

but more importantly, where oh where did you get they beautiful baking dish that looks like it was made out of an old tin ceiling?

showfoodchef May 7, 2010 um 11:20 pm

One of my favs, also and your pics, of course, make me very hungry! I can almost smell those purple lovelies.

Callie Grayson May 7, 2010 um 11:59 pm

i am a potato girl too!
I remember in college that is all I ate, potatoes roasted, mashed, baked! so simple to make and so tasty!

Tracy Grant May 8, 2010 um 12:01 am

Looks amazing!! and the picnic..ahh..I wish I had someone who would make it for me..a dream date :>) Will have to hint to the hubby.

Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 8, 2010 um 1:01 am

That's the most beautiful potato salad I've ever seen! Bravo!

Jessica @ How Sweet May 8, 2010 um 2:57 am

Beautiful! Love me some potatoes.

spicyicecream May 8, 2010 um 3:30 am

I was recently given some Purple Congo potatoes and they are so beautiful! It's fantastic to see you using them too. They are absolutely stunning when roasted, that colour is magical! Lovely photos, as always!!

abb May 8, 2010 um 3:52 am

YUM! (P.S. My hubby refuses to eat the purple potatoes. He just knows that they are not allowed in nature.)

Tara Barker May 8, 2010 um 5:16 am

Mmm, I too am a potato girl! It was such a comfort to me, after having to go gluten-free, to still be able to eat one of my favorite carbs!

Whenever we go camping, I always bring along a couple potatoes to roast in the campfire – seems to me to be one of the best ways to eat them!

Dawn May 8, 2010 um 6:41 am

Lovely. We picked up the habit of roasting pomme de terre when vacationing in Provence (is that where you are from?. Of course it tastes best with grilled lamb, seasoned with wild thyme from the garden, but we tried it at home and it still tastes fantastic!
Thanks for reminding me. I'll try to find small blue potatoes at the market today….
Ps I guess TS Tannie is trying to say that the blue potatoes are human made, but they are not, are they?

Simones Kitchen May 8, 2010 um 6:51 am

I am always amazed at how you make the simplest things look so beautiful! And making a potato looks beautiful is an art in itself! Gorgeous!

Anonymous May 8, 2010 um 9:43 am

well..i'm more of a noodle girl(including pasta),but this looks oh-so-nice too..never ate purple potatoes before though.
I always did my roasted potato with olive oil,fresh sprigs of rosemay and thyme..and squashed of lemon..yumm


Rose D. May 8, 2010 um 1:57 pm

Nothing more comforting than a bowl of potatoes on a rainy Saturday!!!

Sweet Treats by Dani May 8, 2010 um 2:12 pm

i LOVE that roasting pan πŸ™‚

Paula May 8, 2010 um 3:06 pm

I have never seen these violet potatoes in Poland! πŸ™ amazing pics!

The Iconic May 8, 2010 um 5:25 pm

Just gorgeous. What a wonderfully simple and delicious preparation.x

Asya May 8, 2010 um 6:04 pm

These look delicious! And so gorgeous.

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle May 8, 2010 um 6:04 pm

Not just a beautiful and simple dish but a French lesson to boot! I love this dish; although no where near as charming, my local Costco now often has a mix of the multi color baby potatoes and this is my go to dish.

But enough about potatoes. It's the French lesson I love. I have five years of French inside my brain somewhere but from such a long time ago, most is forgotten. I've loved having your articles bring those words back to life and be able to recall something other than 'Open the Door' and 'Shut the Window' and a few phrases I won't repeat here. Thank you…this is something fun I look forward to each week.

mycookinghut May 8, 2010 um 8:18 pm

Fantastic looking potatoes!

Anonymous May 8, 2010 um 11:05 pm

We call this dish "nuggets of love" in my house. The potatoes get that nice crunchy exterior from the oil and are so soft and sweet inside that they somehow were coined this name. Thanks for sharing!

Johanna May 9, 2010 um 8:15 am

Wow! I've never seen purple potatoes! And not red either I think… Haha πŸ˜›

jonahliza May 9, 2010 um 8:24 am

simple dishes are always the most delicious! oh, and i love the your baking dish <3

Helen May 9, 2010 um 12:37 pm

These potatoes look beautiful. The colours are gorgeous. Recently as I've been running more I have ben craving carbs, rice, pasta but not potatoes as such. However, looking at these I really want some simple roast new potatoes with a knob of butter, heaven!
Also, you are so talented. I would love to do your job!

Wenderly May 9, 2010 um 2:40 pm

My mouth is watering as I type…your photos are rustic, elegant, and delicious!….you'll have to excuse me as I'm running off to buy some tri-color potatoes and perhaps even have them for my breakfast!! πŸ™‚

Pity May 9, 2010 um 7:08 pm

simply delicious…gorgeous photos, cheers from london

Lynsey James March May 9, 2010 um 10:51 pm

What great potatoes! How yummy are they!

Lyrically speaking May 10, 2010 um 1:19 am

I love me some pomme de terre although you can easily gain so much weight from eating too much of it, lol

Unknown May 10, 2010 um 2:32 am

Congrats on your photos in Charleston Magazine! We actually subscribe to that one here, so I'll look forward to seeing your photos in print. Your style is so clean and bright, what a perfect match for the topic!

Helene May 10, 2010 um 2:50 am

Jenny: if you keep them look for a feature in the December 2009 issue and there will be another one in the June issue. Sometimes one's style has to obey demands of the art direction and not one's own though πŸ™‚

Lyrically speaking: Ah yes…everything in moderation πŸ™‚

TSannie: the purple is all natural and not a dye. They are called Peruvian potatoes also.

Katie May 10, 2010 um 7:33 am

Those potatoes are so beautiful with their different colours. We only get the basic white and red here – not exciting at all. Roasted potatoes are probably my second favourite carb dish … mashed potato would be number one. Yes, I'm a potato fanatic. πŸ™‚

my little expat kitchen May 10, 2010 um 8:51 am

What a lovely assortment of potatoes. Multicolored! A little olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dried oregano and a couple cloves of garlic. That's the Greek way of making the best baked potatoes, or pomme de terre πŸ™‚

Danger Kitten May 10, 2010 um 9:53 am


I admit to having a bit of a love affair with potatoes myself, and yours look downright gorgeous. Thank you for the beautiful pictures to start my day.

Unknown May 10, 2010 um 11:58 am

"Pomme de terre" has always been one of my favorite French words… literally "apple of the earth" for those curious. πŸ™‚
Thanks for the beautiful recipe and photos!

emiglia May 10, 2010 um 12:45 pm

Those little blue potatoes are absolutely gorgeous!

DessertForTwo May 10, 2010 um 4:22 pm

This is a perfect side dish to any meal! I love the simplicity. I wonder if I could grill it so I don't have to heat up my house with the oven. πŸ™‚

Leslie May 11, 2010 um 4:06 am

Potatoes are my favorite food and this dish looks wonderful!

marla {family fresh cooking} May 11, 2010 um 12:27 pm

A simple & perfect potato salad. I can't get over how eye catching the purple potatoes are. They add so much to the beauty of this dish.
Charleston is such a vibrant community, you are so lucky to be a part of it! xo

Susan May 11, 2010 um 2:25 pm

I tried this salad last night with a few of my own twists. I used Yukon gold potatoes cut into cubes, rosted with garlic and olive oil at 450 for 60 minutes, then sauted mushrooms/onions to go along side it dressed in a dijon mustard, tarragon, rice vinegarette. Delish. Thanks for the inspiration!

Nat May 11, 2010 um 6:23 pm

Omg your purple potatoes are stunning ! And I'm a potato girl too lol : in France it's the season of the delicious Pommes de terre de Noirmoutier <3 And your article has made me think of the joy I have had the other day to eat such food ! Merci : simplement dΓ©licieux !

Anne May 11, 2010 um 6:39 pm

I wish there were dark purple pomme de terre. But overall, if I am not mistaken, potatoes contain anti-oxidant as well. It is not such bad food.

esther May 13, 2010 um 10:15 am

Helene, I love this photo series. The colors are divine – esp. in the last one. It's fun to see you do more and more savory too!

The Purple Foodie May 19, 2010 um 6:04 am

SO this is going to be on the menu for lunch today! i absolutely love the roasted potatoes.

El Bilson October 11, 2010 um 11:48 pm

Wow love these photos and the colors – thanks for sharing!

Tina @ the Worktop July 29, 2013 um 1:51 pm

Your pictures were amazing! Love the pan you used. You inspired me to make a warm potato salad today! I roasted the potatoes, then added in some diced up red peppers, green onions and hard boiled egg. Then, I finished it off by mixing in a bit of creme fraiche and prosciutto. I will be posting the recipe soon on my blog, so check it out when you have a moment!

Brian April 8, 2015 um 2:53 pm

Wow! Great tip for potatoes. I'll try tomorrow.

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