Salt-Roasted Baby Potatoes
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 45 min
- 1 lb Baby Potatoes, Scrubbed
- 6 Small Cloves Garlic, Unpeeled
- 1 ½ Cups Coarse Kosher Salt
- 1 Bunch Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Etc)
- Olive Oil & Fresh Lemon to Finish (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
- In a 9x9 baking dish or cast iron, pour a thin layer of salt. Nestle the potatoes, herbs, and garlic in together.
- Cover with the remaining salt and roast, uncovered for 35-45 minutes until the potatoes are like softened butter when you slide a knife into them.
- Allow cooling for a few minutes then carefully break away the salt crust and pull out the potatoes and garlic. Serve with olive oil and a lemon wedge if desired. Don’t forget to smash the garlic out of its peel before eating.
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Vegan: Yes! This dish is naturally vegan.
- Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete this recipe all the way through and then separate the potatoes, garlic, and herbs from the salt chunks. Cool completely and refrigerate. When ready to eat roast them plain in a 400-degree oven just until heated through or slice the potatoes and sear the cut sides in hot oil.
What does the salt do?
- It acts as an insulator to gently roast the potatoes. The salt steams, roasts, and seasons all at once, resulting in a flavorful and creamy potato.
Can I reuse the salt?
- It’s best to say goodbye. It was a good thing while it lasted but Kosher salt is quite affordable and it has served its purpose.
Do I have to use a coarse salt?
- Coarse is best, if you use a fine salt the potatoes might be too salty.
What should I serve this with?
- It pairs beautifully with fish, especially salmon. A grilled steak, pork chop, or chicken would be lovely as well. Try a scored and charred eggplant with tahini, chili, or herb sauce for vegetarians.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
The first time I saw someone pour nearly an entire blue box of the vaguely familiar, coarse kosher salt onto a pan of potatoes I was astounded. Growing up, my Mom had kept a circular cardboard can of iodized salt that we cooked with, though the PC1 container of garlic salt from Sam’s Club was more often reached for, thanks to the influence of my Grandma.
Iodized salt does not have a very compelling flavor and is fine enough to fit through the frequently clogged holes of a salt shaker, encouraging its infrequent use. The blue boxes of kosher salt, (always coarse for control) have lined the shelves of every kitchen I’ve ever stepped foot in at least six deep. The infantry of the kitchen, Kosher salt is something you don’t understand until you’ve had to pour pounds of the stuff into a 24-quart container of brine.
Until you’ve watched the head chef crack away a baked crust of the white granules to reveal a few turnips from the farm down the road. The most ordinary vegetable suddenly made magical when it breaks free of its salt-made prison. Or the eyes of a whole trout, no longer seeing but still clear, peeking through a gritty mixture of salt and sugar, left to cure.
Salt and potatoes have gotten us this far. Maybe, they’ve been forgotten in the fanfare, the hubbub, the hustle to be new, to be innovative and relevant in a ruthless and unforgiving industry. Their plain starchy quality looked down upon by the rail-thin customers, terrified of what consuming a potato might do to them.
But when you take a potato and you simply let it be a potato, perhaps with some salt and a few flavorings of herbs and garlic that have come from the same soil, you might find, that like an old book rediscovered by a new generation for the first time, the merit has always been there.