Add another dimension to this irresistible side dish by tossing in a chopped red pepper, a sliced fennel bulb, or a small bunch of leafy kale, stripped from the stalks and cut to ribbons.
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled or scrubbed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- lots of freshly ground pepper
- 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs—such as rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, or thyme (optional)
Place a sturdy, half-sheet pan or shallow baking dish in the oven and turn the heat to 500 degrees F.
Quarter the potatoes lengthwise, then cut across into evenly sized sections, about 1/2-inch thick. Toss into a large work bowl, add the rest of the ingredients (including any options mentioned in the headnote you fancy), and combine thoroughly.
Put on good oven mitts and take the hot pan out of the oven, putting it on a solid heatproof surface like a wooden cutting board. Being careful not to splash yourself or any loved ones, immediately scrape the potato mixture onto the pan. Quickly spread it out in an even layer, and pop the pan back into the oven.
Roast about 40 to 50 minutes or until the potatoes are good and crispy all over. Use a thin-edged spatula to get under them to flip after about 30 minutes.
Lee Manahan is a graduate of both South River Elementary School and Martinson (it was the middle school in his day). Neither contained a garden and he deeply regrets never having the opportunity to get his hands dirty.