These are the best, absurdly easy potatoes I’ve made in awhile. I saw the idea posted on a friend’s pinterest page and thought they looked super simple and whimsical. Over the last few weeks I’ve made them twice with great success: once as a run-through of sorts to see if they really were as easy and delicate-looking as they seem, and then again when my good friend Allison came for a visit from out of town. Paired with salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts, it made a great dinner: the kind where you spend all your time and energy talking with your guests and pouring them drinks instead of watching the stove.
The first time I erred on the side of caution and didn’t slice down the whole interior of the potato, but I found the individual slivers before cooking looked a little stiff and didn’t fan out as nicely as I’d hoped. I sliced a raw garlic clove and wedged the potato segments apart by stuffing the slits with slivers of garlic. This worked really well, and even though I was more adventurous with my knife the second time around, I still kept the garlic. There’s a version of this recipe from Gourmet magazine back in 2004 that uses chopsticks lined up snugly next to the potato as guideposts to let you know how deep to cut. This recipe definitely doesn’t need any equipment or fancy set-ups, but if it helps, it sounds like a good idea.
2 Russet baking potatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil (or more, if needed to throughly coat the potatoes)
generous pinches of salt & pepper to season
1) Heat the oven to 450-degrees.
2)Thoroughly scrub the potatoes to clean. Place on a cutting board with a flat side down to stabilize it. Use a sharp paring knife to cut thin slices along the length of the potato, about 1/4-inch apart. Be careful not to slice all the way through.
3) Slide the garlic slivers between the potato segments. Space these fairly evenly, but the exact order doesn’t matter. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Rub the potatoes with the olive oil. Feel free to use more than 3 Tablespoons if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Bake at 450-degrees until browned and slightly shriveled around the edges, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before serving.