After tasting this, I’m never having potatoes any other way!

Homestead Scores: A Sheet Pan Potato Delight

In the heartland of our nation, simplicity in cooking is a tradition that speaks volumes. You see, around these parts, we know that sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to our nourishment. As the seasons pass, our roots dig deeper, intertwining with the very soil that gives us the food we cherish. Today, I’d like to pass on a simple yet beloved recipe from my kitchen to yours: Sheet Pan Scored Potatoes. This dish harks back to cold winters when only the hardiest of crops survived, and among those was the trusty baking potato, a staple on our family table. These potatoes are sliced ever so carefully to let the heat and flavor of herbs seep into their hearts—much like the way our traditions seep into our very beings. This dish, my dears, is for those occasions when comfort food is the anchor you seek amidst life’s ebbs and flows.
When it comes to complementing these hearty potatoes, I often look to the vibrant hues of garden vegetables. A side of green beans, cooked until just tender and kissed with a pat of butter, or sweet carrots glazed with a touch of honey, makes for a color-filled and nourishing meal. And you mustn’t forget a slice of homemade bread, for mopping up any delightful bits from your plate.

Ingredients

  • – 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
  • – 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • – 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  • – 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • – 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary, if that’s what you have on hand)
  • – Optional: A sprinkle of paprika or garlic powder for an extra layer of flavor

Directions

  • 1. Preheat your oven to a cozy 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while you summon the warmth into your kitchen.
  • 2. Cut potatoes in half. With a sharp knife and a careful eye, make several parallel cuts into each potato, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, stopping short of the bottom so that the slices stay connected at the base, like the pages of a well-loved book.
  • 3. Place the scored potatoes on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment, for an easy cleanup that’ll save more time for tales around the dinner table.
  • 4. Whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Gently fan the slices of each potato slightly and brush this herbed oil between the slats, ensuring each slice gets its fair share of the seasoning.
  • 5. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and cook these beauties for about 50-60 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and golden and their centers are as soft as a feather pillow.
  • 6. Once done, you can let them rest for a moment—enough time for a quick little story or a laugh shared with loved ones.

Variations & Tips

Now, for those who fancy a little variety: Try swapping out the rosemary for thyme, or for a touch of heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes. And for an extra indulgent twist, you might sprinkle a modest handful of grated cheese—or two—over the top during the last few minutes of baking, letting it melt into the crevices. Always remember to use potatoes of a similar size to keep cooking times even, and don’t be shy to brush on a little more oil halfway through if they look to be getting as dry as a summer drought. And before you know it, you’ll have a dish that bears the marks of simplicity and love, a gift from my kitchen to yours.