food. family. life.

roasted salt & vinegar potatoes

I adore vinegar. In many countries like Italy, Spain and France, making wine vinegar is a closely connected tradition to the wine making process each year.

I have watched my famiglia make vinegar my whole life by using homemade leftover red or white wine, bottling it in large dark jugs and storing it to ferment in our basement cantina.ilus_stand_vinagres_1_buena

My father told me that we would know when the vinegar “took” as we would see this strange floating dark mass at the bottom of the sealed wine jug that was somewhat scary to look at or even imagine eating when I was a child.

Papa Pierino called this “la mamma” (the mother), a wonderful creation of the natural ingredients in the wine forming and yielding a yeast-like host that allows the old wine to evolve over time and become the most fragrant and strongly acidic red or white wine vinegar.

This homemade vinegar dressed all our green salads, became part of our vegetable garden pickling that took place every summer and more.

I would rush to dip Mammina Loreta’s home-baked bread into the bottom of the salad bowl and soak up all of her leftover vinaigrette (a simple mixture of good olive oil, homemade red wine vinegar and plenty of salt.) at the bottom of the large salad bowl.

I found this to be one of my first pure food pleasures as the bread became a mixture of tangy, salty and sweet and I love it as much today as I did when I was a child.

I am happy to have my own large jug of homemade red wine vinegar (a departing gift from Zio Giovanni when Dan and I got married in upstate NY) and I have used and constantly fed (with wines and other vinegars) the precious “mamma” at the bottom of the jug.cucinadimammina_vinegar roasted potatoes_07


I recently came across a recipe collection for vinegar boiled potatoes and I was instantly in love. I did a bit of research and found only some distantly connected ancient recipes that seem to lean towards old Celtic or Irish origins.

This concept made so much sense to me, basically as you boil the potatoes in white vinegar, they infuse with the taste of the vinegar and are left tangy and full of flavor.

I stick to only vinegar when boiling, but if this is too strong for your taste, you can cut the vinegar with water to your taste preference.

These tangy crispy potatoes are a perfect foil for grilled chicken or meats at your next outdoor summer barbeque or picnic gathering.

{roasted salt & vinegar potatoes}


1 to 2 pounds of whole baby red or white potatoes, skin on (you can use a combination of both if desired)

1 to 2  peeled whole garlic cloves

good quality white vinegar (white wine or distilled variety)

good quality extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

fresh chopped chives (if desired)

Wash and scrub all the potatoes; be sure to remove bad parts by trimming and cutting a bit.

Place the potatoes in a large stock pot and add enough vinegar (or vinegar and water combination) to cover the potatoes well (the liquid should be about an inch or two over the potatoes.) Place on medium high heat, add in the garlic cloves, cut in half and bring this mixture to a boil until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove from the heat and drain well. Set the potatoes aside to cool a bit. Once cooled, cut the potatoes into quarters and place in a large deep bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil, season with seas salt and pepper to taste. Mix this well and place on a large baking sheet to roast in a 425 degree fahrenheit oven until crispy and golden brown (move the potatoes around a bit during the roasting process.)

Note: You can also grill these potatoes on a charcoal grill (cut them in half and place them in a roasting pan on the grill or you can use a specialized tool to hold fish while grilling; this will also hold the potatoes in place or they will fall through the grill into the fire.)

Remove the potatoes from the oven or grill and place them on a large serving platter. Taste for seasonings and add additional sea salt and pepper as needed. Add the chopped parsley and chive and serve immediately.cucinadimammina_vinegar roasted potatoes_10


Note: Photography by Annette Venditti

Buon Appetito!

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