How to Make Salt Potatoes


Years ago, I read Kim Severson’s piece in the New York Times about salt potatoes. I remember thinking, “Those sound interesting. I should try them.” Two years later, I finally did! (I’m never one to rush!)

To be honest, I was surprised to learn that salt potatoes are a central New York dish. I’d never heard of the practice of boiling “new” potatoes in copious amounts of salt. Somehow this dish didn’t make the 150 mile jump from Syracuse to Albany. I’m sorry it didn’t! These potatoes are fantastic!

What makes these potatoes unique? The texture! The interior was really smooth and tender–almost like boiled potatoes, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes got together and created a baby! A tender, delicious, salty potato baby.

If you’re worried, like I was, that these potatoes will taste too salty, fear not. The salt is just right. And they are nowhere as salty as potato chips. To finish, I tossed the potatoes in melted butter and herbs.

Salt, potatoes, butter and herbs? Doesn’t that sound great?

Here’s how to make ’em

How to Make Salt Potatoes |

Grab a large pot and bring 10 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of Kosher salt to a boil. Then add the potatoes. There’s so much salt in the water that you’ll see it cling to the pot as the potatoes cook.

How to Make Salt Potatoes |

Drain. A lovely white coating of salt will cling to the potatoes.

How to Make Salt Potatoes |

Toss with butter and fresh herbs. Or just leave ’em alone. The salt potatoes are great on their own.

New York Salt Potatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
adapted from a recipe in the New York Times, August 22, 2008
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1½ cups of kosher salt (Note from the NYT: Add another cup if using the Diamond Crystal brand)
  • 3 pounds well-scrubbed small red or white potatoes (I used new white potatoes)
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • Chopped fresh herbs, about a ¼ cup (I used parsley and basil because it was what I had on-hand at the time.)
  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, add the potatoes.
  2. Boil for 20 minutes or until for tender.
  3. Drain and toss with butter and herbs. (If you don't want to toss with butter and herbs, you will be able to see the light salt crust on the potatoes.)

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