I don't really care that it is summer and it is hot, because these days I have been wanting to roast everything. My abundance of summer squash goes into the oven, I have been making Spice Roasted Carrots like crazy, and I just made another batch of Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip this weekend. Call me crazy, but doesn't roasting make everything taste better?
Isn't this bag of little potatoes just the cutest?
Roasting also saves me time - which I don't need to remind you, is in short supply these days. So naturally, when I picked up some beautiful fingerling potatoes from Weiser Farms at the Little Italy Farmers Market, I made big plans to toss them into the oven with some olive oil, and little salt, and some fresh herbs.
Beautiful different colors of fingerling potatoes.
I love roasting sliced potatoes with some onions, red peppers, and rosemary, but for these whole fingerling potatoes I wanted something a little more rustic, so I turned to sage. I adore the soft texture of fresh sage, it just draws me in like a delicate feather. The earthy and sweet fragrance is so different from other herbs, and it pairs perfectly with fresh-from-the-ground fingerling potatoes.
Altogether, this recipe is almost so simple that it is silly - all you have to do is toss the cleaned potatoes with the herbs, a little minced garlic, some high quality extra virgin olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Salt is really awesome with potatoes, so be sure to give them a generous coating.
Now I know you are going to laugh, or maybe think I am crazy, but one of my favorite things about roasting these potatoes is the sound. I understand food is usually about taste and smell and texture, but I am both excited and entertained by the sound of these potatoes roasting away in the oven.
First, the herbs start to get blackened and singed and the potatoes make little crackling noises. Combined with the smell of the garlic and herbs coming from the oven, this lets me know that magic is happening in there. But it is the second sound that really makes me giggle - by the time I pull them out of the oven to turn them after about 15 or 20 minutes, they seriously make little screaming noises from the steam escaping from underneath the skins. In my mind, I always imagine wheezing old happy men or tiny squeaking mice, either of which is sort of hilarious and makes me grin.
Once the potatoes are all done wheezing away and making me think of old men, they actually look like they have aged too - dark spots and wrinkled skin covers up the creamy, starchy goodness sealed inside. The flavor is still pure - none of the garlic or herbs actually gets inside the potato - but it tastes like so much more because the little potato has been transformed by roasting with the sage.
Between the rustic flavor and ease of preparation, these potatoes are great for serving family-style at a dinner party. However, to make this a complete quick weekday meal, my go-to pairing for these potatoes is a simple grilled center-cut pork chop, paired with a fresh green salad. Just sprinkle the pork chop with garlic salt, kosher salt, and pepper, and grill it up during the last ten minutes while the potatoes are roasting away. If you get started right when you come home from work, you can have a complete, healthy, well-balanced meal in under 30 minutes.
And honestly, some days, 30 minutes may be all you have, so why not make it count?! Enjoy the rest of your week!
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Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
For roasted fingerling potatoes, my favorite herb to use is definitely sage, but this recipe is great with rosemary too. If you go with an herb that has more natural oils (such as rosemary or thyme), you will only need to use about 2 tablespoons or less of the chopped herbs. And while I do love this for a quick weekday meal, it is definitely the perfect side dish to serve family-style for a dinner party.
2 lbs fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh sage
Approximately 2 tsp minced garlic
Approximately 2 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
Plenty of kosher salt and pepper
Preaheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scrub potatoes well to remove any dirt or grit still remaining on the skins, then dry them. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, sage, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper (be generous with the salt!) until the potatoes are well coated. Spread them out in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, and roast them for about 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven, turn them a few times so they cook more evenly and don't burn, then return them to the oven to cook for another 10-15 minutes (a total of 25-30 minutes roasting time). Once they are done, the skins will be wrinkly and browned, and a fork or knife should slice through the potatoes easily. Serve them immediately.