Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Many herbs can be grown as perennials, either in the garden or as a decorative accent plant around the yard. Rosemary is perfectly suited for both locations and adds a wonderful flavor to dishes throughout the year. Chances are, if you don’t already have a rosemary plant in your yard, there is one close by. Many landscapers use rosemary as an accent for it’s evergreen beauty in both residential and commercial settings. In the kitchen, I use it to spice up mixed nuts during the winter holidays, as an accent for whole-roasted chicken in spring, in a marinade for grilled meat or fish in summer and as a perfect pair for roasted potatoes come fall.

The humble potato has been a main food source since ancient times and it continues to nourish much of the world today. Even in America, with our relatively short national history, we go way back with the potato. My father is a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy who spent a portion of his childhood on a farm and prefers a potato aside his protein any day of the week. My children’s generation is definitely acquainted with the french fry!

Potatoes can be anywhere on the spectrum from comfort food to five-star fancy. However, in any application, they need a few ingredient partners to succeed culinarily. First is fat, and many kinds work well with potatoes: butter, olive oil, canola oil, etc. Second is seasoning. At the very least, potatoes need a good helping of salt and pepper to shine. There are many herbs and spices that can be added to a potato dish successfully, but you will be hard-pressed to find an herb better suited to the potato than rosemary. In these Rosemary-Roasted Potatoes, you will find the trio of olive oil, potatoes and rosemary complement each other particularly well.  The key to the success of this recipe is to par-cook the potatoes and then roast them, cut side down until a golden crust forms on the underside.IMG_0666

Roasted-Rosemary Potatoes

2 lbs red potatoes, about 12 small potatoes
3 Tbsp delicious-tasting olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp granular garlic

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Scrub potatoes, removing any large eyes or blemishes. Halve potatoes so that you end up with two long flat pieces rather than two tall pieces. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, toss potatoes, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt and black pepper. Cover completely with saran wrap or a silicone lid and microwave on high for three minute increments (toss them around to redistribute in between times) until potatoes are about ¾ done, approximately 6 minutes. Microwaves vary.

Meanwhile, spread remaining olive oil in a film over the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle rosemary, remaining salt (I actually like to use a salt grinder for this), pepper, and garlic evenly over the oil.

Using tongs, place par-cooked potatoes cut-side down in oil. Roast 15-20 minutes, or until you see a nice golden crust of spices and cooked potato when you lift one of the potatoes from the pan.

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