David Rocco's roasted potatoes, from his book David Rocco's Dolce Vita, are one of those universal dishes: easy to prepare, simple to serve and perfect for casual dinners or entertaining. This side dish is also a great way to use up odds and ends. For example, if you have a tomato that needs to be used, just chop it up and throw it in. Or if you have dried-out Parmigiano cheese or the rinds, dice them up and throw them in as well. The results are addictive.
Fresh herbs are an important part of this recipe. In Italy, most people have a small herb garden or a couple of herb plants in a window box next to the kitchen so that, as they cook, they can snip off what they need. If you have a sunny windowsill in your kitchen, I recommend doing the same. Otherwise, your local supermarket or greengrocer likely has a good selection of fresh herbs year-round. For this recipe, I like to use fresh thyme, rosemary and sage. If you're making a last-minute dish to use up potatoes and you don't have all of these herbs, don't be too worried. Rosemary is the only one that I think is a must.
1-1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
Fresh thyme, sage and rosemary
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges.
Step 2: Give the herbs a rough chop. I sometimes leave the sprig of rosemary whole and just put it on top.
Step 3: Arrange the potatoes in a roasting pan and sprinkle with the herbs. Throw in the garlic, then add quite a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and salt. This is a case when I recommend being liberal with salt. Potatoes absorb it well, and the dish won't become too salty, just very tasty. Toss well to season all the potatoes.
Step 4: Roast in a 400°F oven for about 40 minutes or until golden.
Reprinted with permission from David Rocco's Dolce Vita (2008 Harper Collins Canada).