From the Motherland is a series where I pay homage to my eastern European heritage and share favorite childhood recipes. These Ukrainian dill potatoes are a staple in my repertoire – wildly delicious, easy to make, just 4 ingredients!
It’s not exactly breaking news that potatoes are the backbone of Ukrainian cuisine. They’re cheap, filling, and easy to store through the winter, which is how they became the hallmark food of our people. And I am not mad about that.
Growing up, we ate them on a near-daily basis, no matter what the season or time of day – boiled, roasted, fried, stuffed into varenyky, you name it. To this day, whenever I go over my parents’ house for dinner, there’s almost always some type of potato on the table.
Boiled new potatoes with garlic and dill are one of the most beloved recipes in all of Ukrainian cooking. It’s funny – because the recipe title is the recipe (kind of like “avocado toast”), it seems almost too simplistic to write about… almost.
The combination of these four humble ingredients is truly magical. With each bite of buttery potato, you get a grassy hit of fresh dill and a kick from raw garlic, all brought together by the nutty aroma of unrefined sunflower oil. It’s heaven!
What’s In These Ukrainian Dill Potatoes
This classic dish calls for just four ingredients (five if you count salt)…
- New potatoes
- Lots of dill
- Fresh garlic
- Unrefined sunflower oil (extra virgin olive oil works, too)
About Ukrainian Sunflower Oil
What extra virgin olive oil is to Italian food, unrefined sunflower oil is to Ukrainian. Pressed from sunflower seeds, it has a delicious nutty flavor (sort of like toasted sesame oil). Unrefined (a.k.a. virgin) sunflower oil is mostly used for finishing salads, potatoes, and other cooked vegetables (like eggplant “caviar”, for example). Refined sunflower oil, on the other hand, has a neutral flavor and is more suited to cooking.
This special oil is a key component of this four-ingredient dish. You can find it in eastern European/Ukrainian markets, online, or in the international aisle of some supermarkets (depending on where you live). (If the label is written in Russian, look for the word “нерафинированное”, which means unrefined.) If you can’t find sunflower oil, use a good quality extra virgin olive oil instead.
Dill Potatoes Step-by-Step
Clean the Potatoes: First, make sure your potatoes are super clean. Since you won’t be peeling them, scrub them well before cooking to avoid biting down on a bunch of dirt later.
Boil the Potatoes: If your potatoes are small, leave them whole; if they’re on the bigger side, halve or cut them into 1-inch chunks. Then place in a pot, and add salt and enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently just until they can be pierced easily with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Watch them carefully at the end; you don’t want mushy, overcooked taters.
Combine the Dill Mixture: The goal with the garlic is to get it into the smallest possible pieces and to release its essential oils. A garlic press is ideal here, as is a microplane; if unavailable, a very fine mince will do. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic, dill, and sunflower oil.
Add the Potatoes: When your potatoes are ready, drain them and return to the pot. Let them stand for a few minutes to dry out a bit. Then add to the dill mixture and toss to coat. Note that the potatoes have to be hot in this step in order to absorb the flavors.
What to Serve with Ukrainian Dill Potatoes
More Ukrainian food…
- Buckwheat Kasha with Mushrooms and Onions
- Leek Salad with Apples and Carrots
- Traditional Ukrainian Varenyky
- Roasted Eggplant “Caviar”
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag @thenewbaguette on Instagram with your creation.Print
Garlic dill potatoes are a Ukrainian cuisine staple – wildly delicious, easy to make, just 4 ingredients.
- About 2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill (about 1 small bunch)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press, grated on a Microplane, or finely minced
- 1/4 cup unrefined sunflower oil* (see note below)
- If your potatoes are about an inch in diameter, leave them whole; if they’re larger, cut them into 1-inch chunks, making sure all the potatoes are roughly the same size (to ensure even cooking).
- Place in a pot and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Season with salt, cover tightly with a lid, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently with the lid ajar until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes, being careful not to overcook them.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dill, garlic, and oil.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Let stand for a few minutes so they can dry a bit. Then add to the dill mixture and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Serve immediately.
You can find unrefined sunflower oil in eastern European/Ukrainian markets or online. If you can’t find it, use a good quality extra virgin olive oil instead.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 210