Herb Roasted Potatoes
November 24th, 2008 by Mike

This almost isn’t worth blogging because it’s so freaking easy. It’s also a staple in my cooking because it’s so easy, scales well to large quantities, and frankly, is pretty inexpensive. A couple of people have asked about this in the comments, so here we go.

When I roast potatoes, I like to use white potatoes, although Yukon Gold work well, as to baby red. Your choice of spud is just that, your choice. Likewise, the herbs are also your choice. I ALWAYS use rosemary and almost always use thyme. In this case, I also used dill and chives. But you could also use parsley, cilantro, taragon, sage, or any other green herb you like. I might stay away from basil because the flavor is just so strong.

The first thing I do is chop the herbs. There is no need for fancy knife skills, just a good rough chop. I might stay away from the food processor, though. You want to chop the herbs, not puree them. For thyme and rosemary, remember to pull the leaves off the stems. Then I cut the potatoes into chunks, trying to keep them a reasonably consistent size. You can go big or small. Smaller chunks cook faster than larger chunks.  Then I throw the potatoes into the largest mixing bowl I have, which is quite enormous. I put on a few glugs of olive oil (again, using the inexpensive stuff), salt, and pepper. This is a time where you go heavy on the salt and light on the pepper, and toss everything together. Remember that these are root vegetables and they will suck up the salt. My rule is that when you think you’ve added too much salt, add a little more. You can use kosher salt here, but I prefer to use sea salt. Just stay away from the iodized salt.

Before transferring these to a sheet pan, I spray the sheet pan with cooking spray. You can use something like Pam, but I use pure canola oil cooking spray. And I spray the hell out of it. The last thing I want is to have to scrub potato off of a sheet pan. The liberal coating of oil will also help the potatoes brown/crisp.

Herb Roasted Potatoes - Before Cooking

These go into a 425 degree oven for about an hour. I pull them about every 20 minutes or so and mix them up with a spatula. This allows multiple surfaces to be exposed. This is also why it’s important to liberally oil the baking sheet.

There is no real science to determining when these are done, other than when they start to turn a crunchy golden brown. If you like them less crunchy, cook them less. If you like them more crunchy, cook them more. If you like them slightly caramelized, cook them even more.

Herb Roasted Potatoes - After Cooking

These are great right out of the oven (after slightly cooling) but they’re also good at room temperature. That’s why they scale so well for large quantities. You can put two baking sheets in the oven at once and cook somewhere close to 15 pounds of potatoes.

This is how I do it. I first saw Ina do it on the Food Network, but my friend Beth has also taught me a lot. She taught me that if you can see more white than green, you need more herbs.

One last hint… when they come out of the oven and are still piping hot, hit them with a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, the real stuff, not from a can.


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