It’s finally fall in Texas. Care to know how one makes this determination? These are the sure signs: 1.) Kids arrive at the bus stop wearing jackets in the morning, which means the temperature has dipped below 70 overnight. 2.) No one says “Man it’s hot out there!” immediately after entering a building. In fact, no one enters a building unless it’s absolutely necessary, since the weather is so nice outside. 3.) The neighborhood pool is closed. Even on weekends.
Which means it’s time for an all-out Fall Food Fest. Root vegetables have that fall feel about them, especially after being roasted in a slow oven. I love a roasted potato (either white or sweet) more than just about anything–toss in some onions (pearl onions are my favorite, but a large onion chopped into wedges will also suffice) and some fresh herbs, and you have a tasty side dish that goes with just about anything: braised brisket, a roasted chicken, even a nice big salad.
Before you start roasting, keep in mind that your potatoes should be cut into wedges or chunks of relatively even size, so everything cooks at the same rate. There’s no magic chopping technique here: if you’re using red-skinned new potatoes, just cut them in halves or quarters. If you’re using Russet potatoes, cut them in thirds, then in quarters. Or, if you prefer, cut the potatoes into smaller pieces. Toss them with whatever combination of herbs you like–my go-to blend includes flat-leaf parsley, oregano and thyme.
2 lbs. potatoes (all white, all sweet, or half and half), cut into pieces
2 T. olive oil
15 pearl onions, peeled and left whole, or 1 medium onion chopped into wedges
Chopped fresh herbs--about a tablespoon of each type you're using
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and onions. Stir well to make sure everything is coated with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle half of the herbs over the top. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are brown. Toss the potatoes with more fresh herbs, salt and pepper before serving.