With more potato varieties than I can count, my praise for the fingerling potato is not taken lightly. A hot grill grate is an ideal destination for the fingerling’s waxy flesh, as its soft buttery center is the needed partner for its crispy charred exterior. Add a touch of garlic and some grilled lemon juice, and it’s no wonder I consider these my go-to starch when grilling dinner.
Fingerlings for Flavor and Quick Grilling
Seeing my favorite side is a potato, any potato, I always come back to the fingerlings not only because of their taste but their fast preparation and grill time. With its short stubby finger form, it’s easy to see how the fingerling derived its name. While diminutive in size, the fingerling is in fact fully mature, sporting a rich nutty and buttery flavor. If you can’t find fingerlings at your local grocery, any other small waxy variety will work. Just adapt cooking times based on size.
The Parboil and Grill
A fingerling can be roasted on the grill whole with good results, but it would also take three times as long to cook. However, I find it easy to overcook these small varieties and feel whole potato roasting is better suited for their larger russet cousins. In this recipe, introducing a fast parboil to the fingerlings reduces the amount of grill time, making it easier to cook the potato along with the rest of dinner. The average medium rare steak takes around 8 minutes to grill. Here, the fingerlings take 6.
Setting Up The Grill Zones
Speaking of the grill, remember to always use a two-zone fire. This type of setup creates an area without direct heat under the food. If you are grilling a steak, it’s a safety area where meat experiencing a flare up can move, or in the case of these potatoes, a spot they can hang out without being overcooked while other food finishes over the fire.
Grill Up These Killer Sides
Prepare the grill:
Prepare the grill with a two-zone fire for medium-high heat, 375º to 425º F.
Parboil the potatoes:
In a large pot on the stovetop, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and the sliced potatoes to the water and boil until easily pierced with a knife, approximately 6-9 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Season the potatoes:
Transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus the pepper, and garlic.
Grill the potatoes:
Grill the potatoes, cut side down, over direct heat until charred, approximately 3 minutes. Flip the potatoes and grill an additional 3 minutes. At the same time, grill the lemon, flesh side down, until charred, approximately 3 minutes.
Serve the potatoes:
Remove the potatoes and lemon from the grill. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Juice the grilled lemons over the potatoes and toss. Garnish with parsley and serve.
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