Our series continues with a sleeper hit you might have missed when it released this spring.
After a break for the weekend, we’ll catch up with Best Recipe #3 on Monday.
The book: Vegetarian for a New Generation, by Liana Kassoff (Stewart Tabori & Chang, $24.95)
The recipe: Tamari-butter roast potato wedges
Why I tried it: I love roast potatoes almost – yes, actually, I think, yes – better than fries. My standby recipe involves blanching the potatoes in baking soda-water and roasting them in duck fat, and I rarely depart from it. But the phrase “tamari butter” had an electric effect on me. I remembered how, when I externed for Wylie Dufresne a million years ago, he used to finish a gratin with this lava-like, dangerous sweet soy-butter glaze – maybe it had balsamic in it too – and how I couldn’t get enough of it. I had to try.
Why I loved it: As much as I love duck fat, this recipe reminded why butter and potatoes are such a compelling match. While any kind of fat can guide you to that terrific potato texture – the crisp edges, the fluffy, piping-hot interior – only butter sings out its presence in every bite. And what butter! infused with rosemary, seething with garlic and that lingering, umami-filled bottom note of tamari, you could drape it over just about any roast vegetable and nobody would even remember there was anything else at dinner.
Estimated preparation time: Just under an hour, if you prepare the tamari-butter mix while you preheat the oven.
Tamari-Butter Roasted Potato Wedges
Kassoff warns that you mustn’t skip preheating the tray! Potatoes need high heat to set that crispy roast crust the way you like it
4 tablespoons (65 g) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons tamari
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped off and minced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (910 g) russet potatoes, peeled if you like, and cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch (2-cm) wedges
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Set a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it heats.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, tamari, garlic, rosemary, and a few grindings of pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted, then remove the pan from the heat.
3. Put the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle them with the tamari-butter mixture, and toss well to coat. Spread the potatoes on the hot baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until nicely browned on the bottom, 25 minutes, then turn the potato wedges with a metal spatula and roast until browned on the other side and tender throughout, 15 to 25 minutes more. Serve hot.
From Vegetarian for a New Generation; Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2014.