Wait until you find out how to pickle them.

By Stacey Ballis
June 24, 2021
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I'm a total sucker for tiny food. If I spot an itty-bitty version of a food that is usually large, chances are it's going to end up in my cart, and I'll have to figure out what to do with it when I get home. Those tiny tomatoes the size of peas? Amazing in salads or on top of pizza. Balls of fresh mozzarella no bigger than a pearl, and aptly called Perline? Tossed into hot pasta makes little melty pockets of cheese. I often make homemade snack crackers or cookies no bigger than nickels to serve in a bowl and eat by the handful, somehow more charming and delicious for their teensy size.

Which brings us to tiny "peewee" potatoes

So, you know when I found marble-sized potatoes in my local grocery store, I was all over those bitsy spuds. About half to a quarter the size of a traditional "baby" potato, these are often labeled "peewee" in the stores, and I find them not only adorable, but also delicious and versatile.

First, the flavor: Because they are so new, they have a nice mild flavor with a little sweetness. Second, the convenience: They cook super-fast, making them a perfect summer food when you don't want to have any heat-producing appliance on for very long. Plus, their size makes them super versatile. Here are 4 ways to cook them and 18 ways to serve them! 

Small Potatoes
Credit: Getty / Wanwisa Hernandez / EyeEm

Steamed!

Steaming tiny potatoes keeps all the flavor and nutrients right inside and eliminates any chance of them getting waterlogged. Steam them until tender, and then be amazed at all the things you can do with them to make amazing side dishes: 

  • Toss with melted butter and chopped herbs
  • Drizzle with a flavored olive oil like lemon, chili, or garlic
  • Mix them into a sauce like pesto, chimichurri, salsa verde, or romesco
  • Want them a bit fancier? Try truffle butter and lemon zest, or porcini butter and sage

Once chilled, these steamed minis make a fun potato salad: Dress with your favorite potato salad dressing, from vinegary German style and classic American mayo to an Italian tonnato. Mix with other fun whole round small vegetables, like grape tomatoes, baby radishes, or peas and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. And for a surprising but amazing dish, toss with cooked pasta shapes like orecchiette and a fast light lemon cream sauce.

Roasted!

Tossing the little taters in a neutral oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, and roasting hot and fast in a 400° oven creates potatoes that have amazing ratio of crisp exterior to creamy centers. And while you can serve as-is next to any protein coming off your grill, I always make extras to have on hand as fun toppers for salads instead of croutons. I also love roasted tiny potatoes with eggs, whether in frittatas, quiches, or breakfast burritos. They work wonderfully well if you like to do cheese fondue or raclette. Put out a bowl of them during a cocktail party next to bowl of onion dip, or skewer them with a baby marinated artichoke, a pitted olive, and a mozzarella bocconcini for a very elegant cocktail tapas.

Smoked!

If you love the flavor of smoke, these little potatoes are a wonderful vehicle for that taste! To make it easy on yourself, use pre-steamed potatoes that are already cooked through so that you are only looking for the level of smoke flavor you like without worrying about them getting too smoky while you wait for them to cook completely. You can smoke them in your smoker next to your meats, but I often use a stovetop smoker just to get that flavor working. Smoked potatoes with a rich cheese sauce are a side dish that your next backyard barbecue absolutely needs. 

Pickled!

Yep, you heard me, you can pickle potatoes, and these little whole ones are the best type I have found for this application. Here's what to do: 

Steam first--no pickling raw potatoes--until cooked through but keep an eye out so that they are still firm. Let cool completely. Follow any pickling style of brine that you love, pack in a jar, and let hang out in your fridge for a week.

They make a fun twist on a cocktail onion in a Gibson, are a surprising addition to a charcuterie spread, but can also go anywhere a pickle might go, from chopped in tuna salad to tossed into a potato salad for pops of brine. Want a total next-level cocktail snack? Pat the pickled potatoes super dry and deep fry until browned and crispy, then pile in a bowl and watch them disappear!