Fingerling potatoes actually vary a lot from one variety to the next. Russian Bananas have a rather starchy, dry flesh, while French fingerlings have a denser, creamier flesh. For that reason, roasting isn't always my first choice for cooking these handsome potatoes. I love a wet-heat method like braising. The potatoes first get browned, then simmered, and then a little glazy pan sauce forms. Smashed garlic can be cooked until tender right along with the potatoes and crispy sage is a terrific garnish.

Serves 3

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
24 large sage leaves
8 garlic cloves, lightly smashed and peeled
3/4 pound (about six to eight) fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
½ teaspoon kosher salt, more for seasoning
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ to 1 teaspoon sherry or malt vinegar

1. In a 10-inch straight-sided skillet with a lid, heat the butter and olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the sage leaves and cook, stirring a bit, until the sage leaves are crisp and the butter is golden brown, about 2 minutes. (Watch carefully so that they don’t burn; they will stiffen and curl and turn grey as they crisp up.) Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the sage leaves to a plate.

2. Put the pan back over medium to medium-high heat and immediately add the garlic and potatoes. Season them with the ½ teaspoon salt and toss them in the butter/oil mixture. Arrange the potatoes cut side down, cover the pan loosely with the lid (leaving the lid a bit askew for some steam to escape), and cook until the bottoms of the potatoes are nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. (Move the pan around occasionally for even browning.)

3. Add the chicken broth and cover with the lid partially askew again. Bring the broth to a gentle simmer and cook until the broth has reduced to just a tablespoon or two, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the heat off, and transfer the potatoes and garlic to a serving dish. Add the vinegar to the pan and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to get up any browned bits. Immediately pour the pan drippings over the potatoes and garlic and garnish with the crispy sage leaves. Sprinkle a little more kosher salt over all.