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potatoes with herbs and anchovy butter

I’m pretty basic.

A gal in a plain, brown wrapper.

Many moons ago, I had a boyfriend in high school.

Just one. My senior year.

The first three years were spent stealing quick glances at cute boys around “the quad.”

There was one named, Frank (a crush I continued from junior high) and one named, Bill.  Probably others that I can’t remember.

Finally, my senior year of high school I had a full-fledged, practice writing his last name after my first name, kind of boyfriend.

One Saturday evening, I accompanied him to a family wedding.

At the reception, all of the girls that were there seemed to have perfect hair, tons of makeup and were wearing the kinds of dresses that I would never be allowed to wear.

My boyfriend had stepped away and it was just me and some of his family sitting at this huge, dining table.

His uncle must have caught me staring (and quietly comparing myself to them) at some of the girls as they walked by.

He leaned in and told me something I’ve never quite forgotten.

You know, you’re the same as those girls.  You’re pretty too.  You don’t try as hard as they do, but you’re as pretty as they are.

That caught me off guard.  It was awhile before I really understood what he meant.

These days I’m still pretty basic.  I don’t consider myself to be “pretty.”  I think that’s a good label for the Sandra Bullocks of the world.

I do wear make-up and mascara, but love wardrobe basics like jeans, oxford shirts and the Jackie cardigan from J. Crew.

And just for honesty’s sake, there was a time (in college) that I sprayed my hair up to the heavens before leaving for a bar.  I’ve got the photos to prove it.

But mostly I like to keep everything casual and real.

potatoes with herbs and anchovy butter

These potatoes are pretty basic too, but tossing them in anchovy butter and freshly chopped herbs is anything but.

I chopped the leftover potatoes and placed them atop my salad for lunch the next day.  Delicious.

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Potatoes with Herbs and Anchovy Butter


1 pound new potatoes, scrubbed
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 oil-packed anchovy fillet
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or dill, mint, or a mixture of herbs)
Additional salt, if needed


Place the potatoes, water and salt in a medium pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife pierces easily through one of the larger potatoes.

While the potatoes are simmering, place the butter and anchovy in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash them together, until the anchovy is in small flecks throughout the butter.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander and return them to the still-warm pot. Add the anchovy butter and herbs, and cover pot. Move pot around in a circular motion, so that the potatoes tumble around and are coated completely in the butter and herbs. Depending on the saltiness of your anchovy, you may need to add more salt. Taste a potato and add 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more) if needed. Serve warm.

Serves: 4