Potatoes seem like such an appropriate vegetable to write about as the leaves are changing beautifully and the weather is getting colder. Potatoes are generally served warm and in comforting forms: mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, french fry potatoes, roasted potatoes, and so on. That is part of their appeal and why they show up on the dinner table during special occasions, such as the holidays.
However, I’m afraid I can’t just talk about one type of potato because that would be neglecting to mention its sweeter (and just as versatile) cousin: the sweet potato. Both are staples in my kitchen although, if we are being honest, I tend to reach for the sweet potato much more frequently. I enjoy the creaminess of a sweet potato and the deeply colored orange reminds me of everything I love about fall.
So, to please everyone, I will include one potato side dish and one sweet potato side dish. Both would be great served with roasted or grilled meats or seafood. I prefer to get my potatoes from the farmer’s market because I know whether or not they were grown organically. I also have a very sweet and funny potato farmer that I like to visit every Saturday morning; somehow this makes the potatoes taste better in my mind.
Herb Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
- A couple pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp (or so) olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped mixed herbs (I used parsley, thyme, and rosemary from the garden)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each potato in half, then cut into wedge shapes. Put into a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper.
Once well combined, spread in one even layer (this is important) on a baking sheet and pop in the oven on the lower rack. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms of the potatoes start turning golden brown; toss. Bake until the other side of the wedges browns and the potatoes begin to look dried out (this will create a crispy outside texture and a creamy inside). This can take 10-15 more minutes depending on how hot your oven runs. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes; serve and enjoy!
Tip: A squeeze of lemon juice over the potatoes would be fabulous when they come out of the oven to lend to the Mediterranean flavors already involved. Unfortunately I was lemon-less so I did not get to try it, but I hope you will! : )
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Disclaimer: I may be bias…but this simple 3 ingredient recipe is still my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. Sometimes simple really is better.
- 1 medium sweet potato per person
- Tin foil
- Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the sweet potatoes scrubbing off any dirt or debris. Wrap in tinfoil and poke 5-6 times with a fork. Place on baking sheet and put into the oven. For a medium size sweet potato it can take anywhere from an 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to bake.
To test the doneness of a sweet potato: Stick a steak knife into the thickest part of the potato; if it moves effortlessly into the flesh then its done. If not, try to be patient (or turn the oven temperature up).
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven when done and remove from tinfoil. Cut in half and dot with butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar, as desired. Remember, the skin is also edible, enjoy!