Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes

A few weeks ago, when it was still the height of asparagus season (which is not relevant except that this dish was served with some asparagus), we made a bold decision. We decided to make steak for dinner.

I honestly can't remember the last time we made steak. And I'm not talking flank steak tacos or an Asian stir fry - we bought two sirloin steaks to grill and eat. It has literally been years since this happened. Definitely not since we moved into our house in 2009.

Back when we lived in our apartment, when I didn't know I had a cholesterol problem to deal with, when I didn't really know how to cook many things, when I had no conception of what a reasonable portion of meat looked like . . . back then we ate steak a lot. When it came time to plan dinner (often after Jeff got home from work), the question would be "chicken or steak?" ("Chicken," by the way, meant an entire chicken breast for each of us. We were clueless back then.)

I'm actually not a big fan of steak itself - I like the things that get put on steak. I like steak sauce and tasty marinades and rubs. Those are the reasons to have steak, in my opinion. A large hunk of meat without any adornment doesn't really do it for me.

Except this time. I was actually craving steak, and had been through much of our meatless Lent. I have no idea why. Maybe my body needed more protein or something. Whatever the reason, I spent a lot of time drooling over a recipe for steak with red wine sauce from April's Cooking Light. When we finally did it, it was awesome. Just as delicious as it sounded to my meat-deprived imagination.

So why am I telling you about this steak in a post about potatoes? When I decided on a steak dinner, a side of potatoes was an absolute must. And tender asparagus tossed in a vinaigrette. But potatoes came to mind first. We made this unassuming sounding dish from the same Cooking Light - rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes. It was blissfully simple - sprigs of rosemary and thyme tossed with halved fingerling potatoes and unpeeled garlic and roasted in the oven. It made for a gorgeously rustic dish. I loved squeezing the roasted garlic cloves from their skins onto the golden-brown potatoes before I popped them in my mouth.

After eating this meal, my steak craving was satisfied. I haven't had any since and I haven't really thought about it. But I still crave these potatoes. I could eat trays of them on my own. While the steak recipe will languish in my recipe card file, these potatoes are going to become a workhorse in my kitchen, accompanying everything from elegant chicken dishes to vegetarian casseroles and stir fries. And maybe even, after a few more years, another steak.  

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light April 2013.

1 head garlic, papery covering removed and cloves separated but not peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
20 oz fingerling potatoes
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450. Toss garlic, oil, potatoes, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper together in a large bowl, making sure everything is well coated in the oil. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven when the potatoes have softened and have turned golden brown.

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