Steamed New Potatoes with Aromatics


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

One Good Dish

By David Tanis

Published 2013

  • About

A friend in the South of France once served me new potatoes that had been steamed over a huge bed of wild thyme branches, a lovely way to cook them. Back home I use this method: put the unpeeled potatoes in a wide pot with an inch or two of water, then add a handful of aromatic herbs and spices. Over a high flame, the small potatoes cook quickly in a fragrant, steamy bath. Now, will it be sweet butter? fruity olive oil? or crème fraîche?


  • 2 pounds new potatoes, to 2 inches in diameter
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • A few rosemary sprigs
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled
  • Salt


Scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Put the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, and garlic cloves in a wide heavy pot. Add the potatoes in one layer and enough water to barely cover. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt, about 2 teaspoons. Put on the lid and bring to a hard boil. Reduce the heat slightly to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Check the potatoes with a skewer to make sure they have cooked through.

Turn off the heat and leave the potatoes for at least 10 minutes, or up to half an hour. To serve, drain the potatoes and put them in a serving bowl, with the aromatics still clinging to them.