Roasted New Potatoes…without Recipe!

I often feel that the side dishes are more interesting than the meat or poultry that is traditionally served these days. A few years back when we dug out the second crop of potatoes from the garden I couldn’t wait to serve them simply roasted, rubbed with olive oil!

 

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Besides olive oil I sprinkled the new, scrubbed potatoes with salt and pepper—I love to use Maras or Urfa pepper flakes that add deep, fruity flavor not just heat. I scattered a few sprigs of thyme, savory, rosemary or some sage leaves, whatever I could grab from the garden; I also added one or two onions, quartered, and two whole heads of garlic halved horizontally, tossing everything in a bowl with olive oil. Onion and garlic add their flavor to the new potatoes as they roast together on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This detail is very important: cleaning the pan afterwards is a breeze; otherwise the roasting vegetables caramelize and stick to the metal so it needs soaking and quite a bit of scrubbing…

 

Pick enough vegetables to fill the baking dish in one layer. Sometimes I include a few carrots, or one sweet potato, cut into big chunks; I may even add one or two quince—depending on their size. I halve, quarter and seed the quince but never peel them; then I halve each piece again, as the quince are quite tough and need longer roasting than the new potatoes. Cut into smaller pieces they all cook together. I love the tartness the quince adds to the sweet root vegetables.

 

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Roast in a preheated 375ºF (200ºC) oven; they need about 30 minutes or a bit more, until they become tender—not mushy—and their corners start to char.

Serve them hot, warm or at room temperature. Roasted root vegetables are considered a side dish but in our home we usually eat them as a main course, accompanied by boiled or fried eggs –from our neighbor’s coop– plus feta, or slices of grilled hallumi cheese!

 

In my humble opinion, these roasted potatoes outshine any meat dish…

 

 

 

 

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