The love many of us have for potatoes may be slightly adaptive — my in-laws told stories of being able to get through several winters because they had bags of beans and bags of potatoes stored up. Their story is not unique. For generations there have been families that knew potatoes would get them from one day to the next. Potatoes are still a food you can count on. They are available year round and not too expensive. They have good keeping power and potatoes are brilliantly versatile.
One of the ways we enjoy the dependable potato is in roasted cubes. This roasting option is a great way to use up a supply of potatoes that has been held long enough or to enjoy a bonanza of potatoes from a sale or from the garden harvest.
They taste a bit like potato chips so the kids will snack on them all day long if you allow. If you still have some left over, these roasted cubes make wonderful additions to salads, soups, and side dishes with other vegetables such as green beans with bacon.
These potato cubes roast for at least 45 minutes, so begin your preparation as soon as you get started on dinner. The potatoes will be roasting merrily while you assemble the rest of the meal.
Any type of potato will roast but russets work the best. With the russet cubes, the outside gets crispy and the inside gets soft. The russets also soak up the seasoning better than the waxy potatoes.
Roasted Potato Ingredients
- Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- High heat oil (safflower, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, lard, tallow)
- Sumac or zaatar, cumin pepper, or simply salt and pepper to taste. (Find our recipe for zaatar.)
Roasted Potato Steps
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Pour about 2 teaspoons oil to each cup of potato cubes onto a baking sheet with sides. I use a large cookie sheet for this.
- Drop the potato cubes onto the baking sheet and toss until each cube is coated with oil. This needs to be a single layer — do not pile them or the potatoes will steam rather than roast.
- Sprinkle your seasonings over the potatoes in amounts you know you will enjoy. If you are just starting out with sumac or zaatar, you may want to go lightly and then slowly increase the seasoning amounts each time you make this dish until you find the what works for you. If you are a seasoning junky like me, you will be heavy handed and add some extra ground black pepper or cayenne.
- Toss the potato cubes until the seasonings appear to be uniformly distributed.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast until the outsides of the cubes are browning and crispy.
- Toss the cubes a couple of times during the roasting process for a more complete browning.
Serve the potatoes with dinner. Save some at room temperature for snacking later. If you happen to have any left at this point, refrigerate and re-warm in the next few days. Drop the cubes onto the baking sheet and return it to a hot oven for about 15 minutes (450 degrees).