After gushing about sandwiches last time, I figured next up on the list of “Getting to Know Jillian” should be that I enjoy meal planning. I know I’m in the minority here, but my dietitian nerd brain goes wild with the weekly meal plan challenge. It’s a balancing act: not too much meat but enough that my husband won’t complain, a good mix of light, lighter, and heavy-ish meals, and exactly how many times is too many times to have pizza? Big questions here.
My biggest challenge, though, is always the side dish. And these potatoes are a really, really good solution. These potatoes have been around in my husband’s family much longer than I have, and, as far as I know, they haven’t had an official name. It’s always, “Oh, we should have those one potatoes, those ones with all that salt.” And then everybody wholeheartedly agrees, especially my mother-in-law because these potatoes are such an easy side dish.
A few simple ingredients: potatoes (Yukon Gold are my favorite, almost anything else will work though), oil, kosher salt, and a little butter and herbs if you’re feeling fancy. Wash and dry the potatoes well, coat them in a nice slick of oil and salt. I know this looks like a lot of salt. You won’t eat the vast majority of it, so trust me here.
I’m not sure what the salt does to these potatoes. I’m sure it has something to do with water content, and maybe steaming, and starches, and who knows what else. But chemistry aside, you put regular old potatoes into your oven, and an hour later you get dreamy, creamy, lusciously smooth potatoes instead. True magic here folks.
Unless you’re a true salt fiend, I would suggest brushing the large majority of the salt off these once they’re done cooking. Then burst them open with a fork, drizzle in some herby butter, and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. You really don’t have to do this last step, but I really think you should. You and the lucky people you’re feeding will thank me.
Salt Crusted Herb Potatoes
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup kosher salt (table salt won't work here)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tsp each rosemary and thyme
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan to taste
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Wash and dry the potatoes well, but do not peel them. The skin needs to be dry so the oil and salt stick properly. Place the oil and salt in two separate small bowls. Roll the potatoes first in the oil then coat them well with salt. Transfer to a large baking dish and put the lid on. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.
While potatoes are baking, combine the butter and herbs together.
Brush as much salt as you can off the potatoes and transfer to a serving plate. Gently push/smash open the potatoes to create a seam. Pour in the melted butter mixture and season with the black pepper and parmesan. Enjoy!