Before the luminous pinks of radishes, rhubarb, and new potatoes dominate the scene there is an alternative to the forest tones of winter’s brown and green. Purple potatoes, like russets, perform best when mashed or hashed.
Tonight, with a chicken roasting in the oven (yet again) the violet hued tubers were a means of making dinner a bit more flashy. They cook like any other russet potato. Begin with cold water that just covers the chopped spuds. Bring to a boil. Simmer until knife tender. Drain the cooking liquid. Mash to a fine pulp. I do not season until the butter and buttermilk have been added; just enough to make the potatoes creamy and easier to stir. . The buttermilk, instead of cream, adds an acidic bite. It also prevents the dish from getting too heavy.
Serve with salad and a glass of Meursault.