Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Garlic Olive Oil

July 23, 2009


Breakfast, Dinner, Local Eating, Lunch, Side Dishes, Summer

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There' s a little nub, dug from the earth, covered in dirt, hard, humble and unremarkable. Or so it seems. The potato. Pot. Ate. Oh! Sometimes I like sounding words out. I' m not a big believer in onomatopœia, but in this case I think it does apply. Pot: a simple sound. Ate: what I have done, or will have done soon. Oh! That pure delight. It is so good, so deeply satisfying, to eat a potato.

Few things are more comforting, I think, which is why, of course, in our crazy culture of renunciation and denial (damn Puritan ancestors and their self-punishment; damn glut of HFCS that sends us all a fat-flutter) they have been ostracized and cut out of our kitchens at the prompting of lunacy via fad diets.

Potatoes are remarkable creatures, extraordinarily wholesome, easy and versatile. If you pass on the potatoes, I know you' re following some no-carb craze because nobody, I mean NOBODY doesn' t like a potato. If you tell me you don' t, I' ll call you a liar and snatch back my platter. Ye who refuse the humble white flesh of such sustenance are in denial of something much greater than starch—you' re missing out on the staff of life and all of its history. What a root! Chips, salads, gratins; baked, roasted, fried… I' ve yet to meet a potato-dish I don' t like, nor a culture that doesn' t like potatoes.



Potatoes go perfectly well with so many things, but especially with eggs—never better than when your eggs are meant as a main meal. Sunny side uppers, over-easies or scrambled eggs go best with hash browns and home fries, but when it comes to something as elegant as a fritatta, I say go with roasted baby potatoes. A few of these, skins browned and wrinkling up over the flesh, mixed with garlic and olive oil and flecked with sea salt and rosemary are a true joy to behold, and even more so to eat.


Suddenly your sandy lumps are transformed: crisp on the outside, smooth and hot on the inside and bursting with savory crunch from the herbs, oil and salt. They' re even great cold the next day tossed into a salad— Tuna Niçoise takes kindly to these, I' ve found. They' re especially tasty when dug by local hands. I just love buying a bag of potatoes and getting change from a farmer whose fingernails are still encrusted with their dirt.


Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Garlic Olive Oil

Serves 3-4

2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tbsp sea salt, plus more for flecking
1 lb baby red potatoes, washed and dried
1/3 c olive oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour salt over diced garlic, and rub with the side of a wide-blade knife, so that the garlic and salt mix into a paste. You' ll know it' s finished when the garlic is wet and the salt is completely incorporated and smoothed.

Pour olive oil into the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisking in garlic paste and ½ of the rosemary.

Place potatoes in the bowl and toss to coat. Spread onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with a bit more sea salt and remaining rosemary.

Make sure the potatoes are evenly spread and not overlapping. Bake for 30 minutes, or until skin wrinkles and browns. Serve immediately.

* If some potatoes are larger than others, cut them in half or quarters. It' s best to roast things of comparable size to ensure even cooking.

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