Jul 032007
 
Roasted rosemary potatoes with green beans

Roasted rosemary potatoes with green beans

Growing up, one of my family’s favorite accompaniments to meat dishes was steamed red potatoes and green beans. For some reason, the flavors go together quite well, especially when paired with a meat dish. I brought this idea along with me when I moved out, but as I learned more about cooking I couldn’t help but modify it.

My experimentation all started with a recipe I found for a Salade Niçoise. It called for roasted potatoes, green beans (good so far) but then added in all this other stuff like chopped kalamatas, onions, anchovies, capers, and lemon and was served along unadorned flavorless grilled tuna steaks. Something had gone terribly wrong. I like a lot of those things, but the combination was simply too much. This recipe was trying way too hard. Instead of being warm, inviting, savory, simple, and satisfying, it was bitter, salty, and, well, gross.

Nevertheless, it did introduce me to roasting, and I knew that I was on to something good here. Knowing that the basic premise of red potatoes and green beans was pure and solid, I made it several more times over the coming months, but omitted the offending ingredients and added an aromatic or two.

Of course, the potatoes are heavenly on their own without the green beans. Last Christmas, my mother-in-law was roasting those red potatoes I love so well, and was of course adding in the requisite rosemary. This caused her father to protest loudly “Don’t add so much rosemary! You’ll ruin the flavor!” I couldn’t help but laugh at this well-meaning but misguided advice, given that the potatoes have practically no flavor on their own. Potatoes and rosemary go together like tomatoes and basil: a match made in heaven. What would be the point of roasting them without it?

Roasted rosemary potatoes with green beans


Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes
A Jitterbean original
Serves 4

1 lb red potatoes, similarly sized
leaves from two 4-6″ sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally into about 1″ pieces
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Wash the potatoes. Cut them into fourths (if small) or eighths (if larger).
On a baking sheet, combine the potatoes, garlic, and rosemary. Pour the oil over the sheet and mix and stir with your hands or a spatula until everything is well combined and coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put the sheet in the oven and roast, taking out every 10 minutes to stir and un-stick the potatoes. Roast them until they are nicely browned and the interiors are very soft. The time will vary widely depending on the size of the potatoes pieces, but is usually about 35 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces. When the potatoes are almost done, steam the green beans until bright green and nicely cooked, about six minutes.
When all ingredients are done cooking, combine the potatoes and green beans. Serve immediately.
If you prefer, you can roast the green beans instead of steaming them. Simply add the prepped green beans to the roasting pan about 10 minutes into roasting.

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