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Most varieties of potatoes come into season in early fall, just when many cooks begin thinking about comfort foods. Starchy, buttery potatoes generally make a delicious side dish to most meats and veggies, giving the meal a rounded, finished feel. Garlic-roasted potatoes make an especially rustic, hearty side dish. Tubers prepared this way are basically tossed in garlic and olive oil and then roasted in the oven until the skins are brown and crisp, and their flesh is hot and soft.
Cooks looking for simpler alternatives to traditional mashed potatoes might try making garlic-roasted potatoes. Usually made from small red or new white potatoes, all one must do is chop them into quarters, drizzle them with cooking oil and garlic powder, and slip them into the oven at 400°F (about 204°C) to 450°F (232°C) for about 45 minutes. One might even roast them whole, beside a round of roast beef, a set of turkey breasts or a pork loin.
People who enjoy a variety of flavors don’t need to make sacrifices when it comes to garlic-roasted potatoes. This versatile recipe only requires garlic and oil, but generally mixes well with other herbs and spices, too. Rosemary, parsley, cilantro, thyme, and paprika typically give the potatoes a warm, lightly-spiced flavor. Cumin, red pepper flakes, chili, and curry powder can give a slight kick to the dish.
Flavor-infused oils usually taste wonderful on garlic-roasted potatoes. Infused olive oil comes in a variety of flavors, from onion and lemon to chili pepper and thyme. Any oil will work, plain or flavored, so cooks may select one made from olives or another, like canola, sunflower, or vegetable oils. A light coating of any flavored oil can give this recipe an extra facet of flavor, however.
Potatoes also combine well with a number of other vegetables. Winter squashes, such as acorn, butternut, pumpkins, and buttercup squash usually require the same temperatures and roasting times as potatoes, making them perfect accompaniments. Root vegetables, like turnips, rutabagas and carrots, also add flavor and variety. Some cooks even like to add chopped whole or pearl onions and whole, smashed garlic cloves to this dish. Once fully roasted, the garlic cloves may be removed or gently smashed into a pulp and mixed throughout the dish.
Cheese almost always complements garlic-roasted potatoes. Hard cheeses, like parmesan, romano, aged cheddar and gouda often grate easily and melt only slightly. They can be added to a pan with the raw potatoes and generally trusted not to burn during cooking. Softer cheeses, like smoked provolone, feta, and sharp cheddar, may be grated and added to the potatoes in the last five to 10 minutes of roasting for a golden, savory topping to the garlic-roasted potatoes.
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