Salt Crusted Potatoes with Cilantro-Garlic Mojo
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: Spanish
Closely adapted from José Pizarro.
  • 2¼ lbs evenly sized waxy new potatoes, such as fingerling, scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 2 T sea salt
  • 1 qt cold water
  • For Cilantro Mojo:
  • 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped (toasted first if desired, to reduce stomach distress)
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Leaves and tender stems from 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 t freshly ground cumin seeds
  • Scant ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 t white wine vinegar, Muscatel if possible (we could not find Muscatel)
  1. Put the potatoes into a wide, shallow pan in which they fit in a single layer. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 1 quart cold water (just enough to cover). Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Leave it to boil rapidly until the water has evaporated. Turn the potatoes gently occasionally while they cook. When the water is mostly gone, reduce the heat to medium low, or even low depending on your stovetop. You want all the water gone, the potatoes somewhat wrinkled, and coated in a crusty salt layer. Obviously, you do not want them to burn or scorch, so if that seems a risk, turn the heat down further. When the pan is completely dry and the potatoes are salt crusted, take the pan of the heat.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, make the cilantro mojo. Put the garlic, green chili pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt into a wet dry grinder, a powerful blender like a Vita Mix, or a food processor. Puree until roughly minced. Then add the cilantro and puree until a paste forms. Add the cumin, and then, with the blender/processor running, add the oil in a thin stream so that it emulsifies into a creamy sauce.
  4. Just before serving, mix in the vinegar, and spoon into a small bowl.
  5. Pile the hot potatoes onto a plate and serve with the mojo.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at