Growing up in Syracuse, salt potatoes use to be one of my favorite summer side dishes at a barbecue. Salt potatoes are an iconic Syracuse dish originating from the late 1800s. At that time, the Irish immigrants working in the salt springs around Onondaga Lake would bring in small bags of unpeeled potatoes and boil them in the salt brine for their lunches. The dish later progressed to cooking young potatoes or small potatoes in a pot of highly salted water and serving with melted butter.
Salt potatoes have a delicious salted skin with a creamy potato inside that is perfectly matched with the melted butter it is served with. The potatoes get their creaminess from the high temperature of the salt water that cooks the starches in the potatoes more than regular water. When I young I didn’t know that salt potatoes were a regional dish. I thought everyone ate salt potatoes at picnics like macaroni salad or coleslaw. It makes me sad to think about what you were all missing! So, please do make these to take this burden off of me!
- 4 pounds new white potatoes or small creamer potatoes (cleaned)
- 12-16 oz Kosher salt (about 1½ to 2 cups)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- In a large pot add potatoes, salt, and 8 cups of water.
- Cover pot and bring to boil.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Drain potatoes in colander and let dry until salt is crystallized on skins
- Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.
- Serve potatoes with melted butter poured on top.