What causes green spot on potatoes?
When storing spuds properly, a cool place is best
Q: What causes the green spot on potatoes?
A: That can be a common occurrence with potatoes. The green tinge means that they have been exposed to light or very cold or warm temperatures.
Exposure to light means that they make chlorophyll, which turns them green. When this happens, an alkaloid called solanine — a bitter toxin — develops. Eaten in large quantities, solanine can be toxic. You need to cut or scrap any green parts of the potato flesh or skin and discard those pieces. The other parts of the potato are usable.
Because of this, it’s important to store potatoes properly. A cool, not cold, dark and dry place is best. The ideal temperature is around 8 C. But a pantry is fine, too, as long as it’s not too warm.
Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator because that causes their starches to convert to sugar. And being stored in too warm an area causes them to shrivel.
Most sources say not to store onions and potatoes together because both emit gases that cause them to spoil. Also, don’t wash potatoes before storing. This can cause them to decay too soon.
There are plenty of potato varieties , but some of the best for potato salad are the thinner skinned, waxy types: Yukon Golds, new potatoes and red skin.
Baking potatoes are a little too mealy for salad.
I always use this method for making potato salad from the Food Network’s Ina Garten: slightly undercook the potatoes, and drain them in a colander.
Place the colander over a large pot, and cover the colander with a clean kitchen towel. Let them sit for 15 minutes, and the potatoes will steam and continue to cook. This recipe is from “Potato Salad” by Debbie Moose (Wiley, $16.95).
Tarragon-Lemon Potato Salad MAKES 6 SERVINGS
2 pounds new potatoes ½ cup chopped celery 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley ½ cup sour cream ¾ teaspoon chopped garlic ¾ tsp grated lemon zest 1 tsp (or more to taste) lemon juice 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish 1½ tsp dried tarragon or 4 tsp fresh (or to taste) ¾ tsp salt ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preparation time: 15 minutes; total time: 45 minutes (plus chilling time)
Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil.
Cook until the potatoes are pierced easily with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain and let cool until you can handle them. When cool, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on the size of the potatoes.
In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, celery and parsley.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill pickle relish, tarragon, salt and black pepper.
Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Per serving: 136 calories (13 per cent from fat), 2 grams fat (1 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 359 milligrams sodium, 7 mg cholesterol, 60 mg calcium, 3 grams fibre.
There are plenty of potato varieties, but some of the best for potato salad are the thinner skinned, waxy types: Yukon golds, new potatoes and red skin.