Ina Garten's Trick To Perfect Roasted Potatoes

Mashed, boiled, baked, scalloped, or french fried, potatoes are the basis of many of our go-to side dishes for a evening meal, whatever the main course is. Roast potatoes are the classic standard for a Sunday roast dinner, and most Americans just chop them up, drizzle them in oil, and pop them in the oven, a simple, tried-and-true method.

But Ina Garten's recipe for roast potatoes takes it up a notch, while still keeping it simple. On her show The Barefoot Contessa, Garten has called them, "The easiest potatoes in the world." It may not a complex recipe, but the addition of huge amounts of fresh minced garlic, freshly ground pepper, and fresh parsley take the recipe from good to amazing.

Southern Living points out that one of the most important parts of the recipe is that Garten specifically states to use "good olive oil." That's a key thing to note, because as we've reported before here at Mashed, 75-80% of olive oils aren't actually made from olives at all. There are a lot of tricks to help you find the right olive oil, and they don't have to be ridiculously expensive to be good, but you want to take the time to find a solid, reputable brand that is made from actual olives.

Once you have good ingredients, the rest is simple.

Garten has some key points for the other ingredients as well, particularly the garlic, which she calls the "secret to my potatoes." On a 2003 segment of her show (posted on Food Network) she notes, "I always try and find garlic that's very firm ... [one that] doesn't have a big sprout on it. You don't want a plant in your potatoes. You want really good garlic." She uses at least six cloves of finely minced garlic, but she points out that while that is a lot of garlic, "when you cook garlic for a long time it becomes really sweet, so it's not gonna be too garlicky."

Next, the potatoes. She uses red potatoes, but she says that "any kind of thin skinned potato" will work. Cut big ones in to quarters, small ones into half. She hand tosses the potatoes, olive oil and salt on the sheet tray — any type of coarse salt will do, such as sea salt or kosher salt — and bakes them in a 400° oven for about 30 minutes. The result? The perfect garlic roast potato. "They are seriously garlic. All crisp on the outside and delicious inside," she exclaims. Add a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley on the top and they're ready for the table.