I was thinking up a clever title for this blogpost but then said ditch that idea, just say what it is because that really will say it all. Today was National Potato Day and really, that potato needs more than just one day to be celebrated. I celebrate it all the time in all of it’s forms…however, I could write for hours discussing ways to cook and eat potatoes and cover all the world’s cuisines with that but I’m going to limit this celebration to a simple and flavorful oven roasted version. Yes, you’ve see this all before, but maybe some of you haven’t and this came out so good I want to share it. Like the picture? Please say yes, I’m sensitive and can’t handle rejection…ok, thanks for liking it. Let’s move on..Oven Roasted potatoes are not uniquely Italian, but they are made from North to South and East to West in Italy. If someone knows of a region in Italy where they are not side dish in , please leave me a comment here. In my travels to Italy the Olive Oil roasted potato perfumed with garlic and usually Rosemary, or any one of a bunch of local herbs were always served with the SECONDI, the second courses. Here in the U.S. they are a mainstay of the Italian-American kitchen, and many times are the potato standard in Restaurants..although in the NYC area the Potato Croquette is more popular.
For enough portions for 5-6 people use 2 1/2 lbs of scrubbed potatoes…peeling? that’s up to you. A “cleaner” presentation is done when you peel them, me, I don’t need “clean”, I like rustic and love the taste and texture of the potato peel. For tonight’s dish I used White Potatoes, they have a naturally thin skin so they work really well here. Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees, if you have a convection (like I do) go to 375 degrees. Cut all the scrubbed (water only, then pat dry with paper towels) potatoes in 1/2 then into 1/4 inch wedges. Easy. Put them all into a bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil with 4 cloves of finely minced garlic, and 4 tbs of a mix of chopped herbs…now you are on your own…
What do I mean? The choices of the herbs..this recipe I combined 3 herbs from my garden which is still flourishing at the end of October. I used fresh picked Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme. Think of your dinner profile..I’m going to give you ideas here that will allow you to take this recipe and fit it into your particular dinner plans…Asian/Indian? Mint, Cilantro, Basil… Mexican? Oregano, Cilantro, Thyme…so this is up to you..Tonight I made a Chicken with Cremini and Spinach in a Marsala Wine Sauce so, I went with a typically Italian profile. Once the oil is whisked, season the potatoes themselves with 1 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt, and 1 tsp. of ground black pepper. Now pour the oil over the seasoned potatoes and with your hands coat all of the potatoes with the oil. Pour this out onto a sheet pan …PAY ATTENTION HERE!~!! and make sure they are not on top of each other. Roasting is a wonderful way to cook potatoes but you need to have all the sides in contact with the heat, not each other.
Place into the oven and let them roast for 20 minutes. Shake the pan and flip the potatoes onto their other side and let them roast another 15 minutes. Check then, they should be done at this point but if not, shake the pan again (please..with pot holders!!!, i take no responsibility for burns!) and let them cook another 5 minutes.
They will look like this when they are done:
Let them cool for a few minutes then serve with your main course. Happy National Potato Day…it’s a day that is celebrated with all good things! Trying to think of a potato dish I don’t like..hmmm..nope..can’t think of one.