Salt-Roasted Potatoes with Roast Shallot and Thyme Butter

Published September 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

Sometimes baked potatoes can use a flavor boost. And instead of light and fluffy, most often they are dense and crumbly. We found that baking the potatoes on a bed of salt remedied these problems. Moisture that escaped the potatoes during baking was trapped in the enclosed pan, absorbed by the… read more

Sometimes baked potatoes can use a flavor boost. And instead of light and fluffy, most often they are dense and crumbly. We found that baking the potatoes on a bed of salt remedied these problems. Moisture that escaped the potatoes during baking was trapped in the enclosed pan, absorbed by the salt, and eventually reabsorbed by the potatoes, making their skins tender and their flesh light and fluffy. All we needed to do was fine-tune the variables. Using a hot oven and uncovering the potatoes toward the end of cooking ensured dry, crisp skin. A 13 by 9-inch baking dish provided plenty of space so that we didn’t have to crowd the potatoes, and 2 1/2 cups of salt allowed us to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pan. A little rosemary and garlic added to the pan was all the flavor these spuds needed.

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Salt-Baked Potatoes

What can 2 pounds of salt do to a potato that an oven can’t?

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Serves 4

Kosher or table salt can be used in this recipe. The salt may be sifted through a strainer to remove any solid bits and reused for this recipe. These potatoes can be prepared without the roast shallot butter and topped with your favorite potato toppings such as sour cream, chives, crumbled bacon, or shredded cheese.

Ingredients

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