Weekend Herb Blogging - Salt Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

I have been seeing posts since I started blogging for Weekend
Herb Blogging, the brainchild of Kalyn over at Kalyn's Kitchen, but until this weekend, I have not participated. However, I was visiting Anh at Food Lover's Journey who is hosting this edition of WHB and I thought of a recipe that would qualify and that would be appropriate for Easter as well, so here I am. Like a lot of my recipes, I can't remember where this idea originally came from, but I have been making it for quite awhile and it is one of my favorite ways to make (and eat) potatoes. While you may be put off by the amount of salt used... don't be. The finished product is delicious and when you break the potatoes out of the salt crust, only enough salt is left to flavor the potatoes and the rosemary is infused into the potatoes. The bonus? The aroma while they bake is incredible.

First, let's start with the star for this event, the rosemary. When we bought this house, it had a huge yard and I had a fantasy that we could have a kitchen garden by my door, but the sun wasn't really right, so we had to compromise. To satisfy my desire to have fresh herbs right outside my door, I have two large clay pots one witha large bay tree (that is actually outgrowing the pot ) and the other has a large rosemary bush and oregano, (seen to the right, you can see that I haven't started spring cleaning outside yet!) I use this rosemary all the time for cooking and even cut sprigs to tie onto a gift bottle of wine when we go to a friend's for dinner. No matter the weather, wind, Hurricane Isabel, snow on April 7 (yesterday!), this rosemary bush doesn't seem to suffer, and it finds its way to our dinner table at least once a week.
And this recipe is one of my favorites (Surprise! the Irish woman likes potatoes!)

Salt Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

5-8 small potatoes (red or Yukon Gold are great), enough to fit snugly in a 9 inch cake pan
3 cups coarse Kosher salt
1/2 cup white flour
The leaves stripped off of 2 4-inch long stalks of rosemary
1/2 cup water

Optional (not really, once you've tasted this you won't want these any other way) :

Sour cream

Caviar or fresh chives chopped

Wash the potatoes and place them in a pan that accomodates the potatoes just touching and touching the sides of the pan. Mix the salt and flour together, until well mixed, then slowly add water until it forms a crumbly "dough". sprinkle in the leaves of rosemary and mix well. Spoon the salt into the spaces between the potatoes and the pan and cover tops with salt mixture. Pat down until firm. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and invert pan onto plate. Break the potatoes out of the salt crust and serve warm with sour cream and either chives or caviar.

This is a great dish to have for company, it is so dramatic to bring to the table. It looks almost like you are breaking the potatoes out of a bed of ice crystals. Try it... you and your guests will be impressed!


Kalyn said…
Very interesting. I've heard of cooking things in salt like this, but never tried it. I can imagine the rosemary smell must be wonderful. You're lucky to have rosemary all the time like that. In Utah sometimes the rosemary lives through the winter, and sometimes not. This year I see some green leaves sprouting out on my bush, so I think it's ok!
I can imagine how fragrant and delicious that must be. I have a weird aversion to rosemary (long, stupid story) but I bet even I would like it in this dish.
Susan said…
I can almost smell the fragrant rosemary from here--I just adore it! When we live in NC, we planted a small rosemary bush in our garden. When we moved 4 years later, that bush was a beast! Seriously, it was about 6-8 wide and about 3 feet high. I think I miss it more than the house! So, you see, I know I'll love this recipe. :)
Deborah Dowd said…
Kalyn-I think my rosemary tolerates cold more because it is up near the house and is protected somewhat from the weather.
Christine- The rosemary flavor is an undertone, and if you like potatoes, you will really like these!
Susan- I know mine is growing like a weed, and I do virtually nothing to it but water it in the summer heat!
Anh said…
I love your rosemary pot! Wish my rosemarry will be like that some days. And your salted roasted rosemary potatoes sound very delicious! :)
Lydia said…
What an interesting way to cook potatoes! I plant rosemary in my herb garden each year (too cold to overwinter here), but rarely make much use of it. I'll definitely keep this recipe in mind.
My landlord told me that I could pick all the rosemary I wanted (he plants it in his garden) and after your post, I would love to try these potatoes! I'll make use of all of that rosemary in the garden!
Melting Wok said…
I wish I could grow some of tt fresh rosemary in my small apartment here too :( Would be great to be able to use it all year round. Wow, with that amount you have in your pot, I wander how many recipes you can come up with ? hehe :)
Deborah Dowd said…
Anh- I am not sure the weather where you are but the rosemary in the picture was from a 6 inch pot 5 years ago!
Lydia-Definitely try this- I know you will like it!
Passionate eater- We planted rosemary at our rentals too and our tenants have made good use (something homey about having your own herbs)
Melting Wok- I don't know how it might grow inside but if you have a small patio or terrace, you might try growing your own! THanks for hosting this event!
Anne said…
Hanging my head in shame...I haven't gotten to do Weekend Herb Blogging yet! This looks awesome, though!
Gattina said…
Deborah, I am totally impressed!!! I promise, I am going to make this dish... as soon as I can :D I used to make salt roasted pork, which I really like, so now I can tell same as this one!
A bottle of wine tied with a spig of rosemary... doesn't it sound too beautiful?
Freya and Paul said…
Ooh, that is an interesting way of cooking potatoes! I have dreams about potatoes so this one goes straight to the top of the cooking list!
vasilisa said…
Hmm... This gives me an idea -- I have a great backyard, and love fresh herbs. Maybe I should grow some? How do you start? Where do you get them? And how long do they take?
Deborah Dowd said…
Anne- You really should try- these kinds of events are a great way to meet fellow fodies!
Gattina- You won't be sorry! this recipe raises potatoes to the next level.
Freya and Paul- In these days of low-card eating, potatoes seem to be verboten, but you will love these!
Vasilisa- You really should- there are so many herbs that virtually take no effort to grow. We are in zone 7-8(if you don't know what that is consult the web or a gardening book) and our bay and rosemary survives winter. Other herbs that I have found are easy to grow are Dill (the Monarch caterpillers always get mine!), sage, oregano, and chives. I buy mine from pots, except for basil which I sow in window-box sized pots from seeds. That way it takes no time before you can clip and cook with yor own fresh herbs!
Sara said…
I have seen recipes like this before, but right now I have fresh rosemary, potatos and lots of salt at home! I am making this tonight.
Ellen said…
I've heard of similar recipes but have yet to try this. Your post may be the final nudge I need. RCY: Do you have a falafel recipe to share? I'd love to make my own rather than use a mix.