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Roasted Potatoes

Better potatoes through science–this recipe uses baking soda in the cooking water to soften the outside of the potatoes and create ridges to crisp up when roasting in the oven. The garlic-rosemary oil also gives a bit of extra depth of flavor.

Serves 4 as a side dish.


  • potato: about 1 kg/ 2 lbs. Get a medium starch variety, such as Yukon Gold or King Edward (in Switzerland, these are Red label). Note: traditional high starch baking potatoes can dry out too much.
  • water and salt, for the boiling: about 2.5 liters/quarts water and 2.5 Tbsp salt. This is the same percentage I use for pasta–it seasons the potatoes while cooking, which results is less final salt needed
  • baking soda: 1 tsp
  • olive oil or neutral oil: 4 Tbsp/.25 cup
  • garlic: 2 cloves, peeled and minced
  • fresh rosemary: 1 sprig, roughly chopped/torn
  • additional salt: to taste


  1. Heat an oven to 200 C/400 F with fan/convection turned on.
  2. Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks, about 2 in/5 cm. Bring a large pot and the water, salt, and baking soda to a boil. Add the potatoes and turn down the heat to keep to just below boiling, and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes into a colander and allow to steam a couple minutes.
  3. Make the garlic oil. While the potatoes are cooking, add the oil, garlic and rosemary to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes total. The garlic should start to sizzle after a few minutes…allow to cook for additional couple minutes but remove before browning too dark. Allow ingredients to sit in the saucepan while the potatoes cook/drain. Strain the oil into a small bowl using a fine mesh sieve.
  4. Mix the potatoes and oil. In a large bowl, add the potatoes and flavored oil, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir gently with a spatula until the potatoes are covered–the potato surface should break down a bit due to the baking soda.
  5. Roast. Add the potatoes to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes total or nicely browned and cooked through, flipping over halfway through. Taste and add any additional salt if desired.