I needed someone to talk me into making baked potatoes. Silly, really. Why would I need someone to hold my hand through placing a raw vegetable in the oven and waiting for it to be soft? Is it really that hard or more of a mental block? Clearly… mental.
Enter: Nigel Slater and Tender.
I talk about the book Tender all the time because it’s a book of poetry dedicated to vegetables. I like to just thumb through it for inspiration. This go-round I felt inspired to step in the kitchen and (dramatic pause because this is really dramatic) bake.a.potato. Totally life changing… I know.
Why roast a potato when you can salt-roast a potato. I mean.. right!? I’ve had salt-roasting in my brain ever since HonestlyYUM salt-roasted a Branzino.
Adding roasted broccoli and melted cheddar cheese makes these special potatoes a dinner of their own. Potato dinner! Better than my usual popcorn dinner. Let’s roast!
Potatoes are scrubbed clean and punctured with the tines of a fork. I use Russet potatoes because the skin is thick and the flesh is starchy.
The damp, scrubbed potatoes are coated in coarse sea salt.
Ok… don’t freak out. We’re not actually going to eat all of this salt. After baking, most of the salt is rubbed from the skin of the potato, revealing the most crisp potato skin and tender flesh. It’s good news all around.
The potatoes are ready to bake and the broccoli is ready to roast… olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper aid in this endeavor.
As the potatoes rest after baking, the roasted broccoli is topped with cheddar cheese and sent off to melt in the oven.
We’re going to need a lot of butter.
It’s ok. It really is.
Baked. Sliced. Fluffed. Buttered. Topped with roasted broccoli and cheese like whoa!!
These potatoes are filling, salty, and cheesy with a hint of vegetable. They’re filling! It’s totally dinner!
It’s comfort food all wrapped up in a potato skin and an oven door.
Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Baked Potatoes
makes 3 servings
3 Russet potatoes
coarse sea salt (I used bout 1/3 cup)
3 small broccoli bulbs, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
butter and sour cream for serving
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place sea salt to cover the bottom of a shallow rimmed baking pan or cast iron skillet. Set aside.
Scrub potatoes and puncture each potato all over with the tines of a fork. While potatoes are still damp, roll and top the potatoes in sea salt to coat. Arrange the potatoes on top of the sea salt on the baking pan.
Place broccoli pieces on a rimmed baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Toss with olive oil and black pepper. Place on the upper oven rack and allow to roast for 20 minutes, until cooked through and browned slightly.
Also place potatoes on the lower rack of the oven and bake until tender throughout. Depending on the size of your potato they may bake from between 35 minutes to 1 hour. Test the potato for doneness by inserting thin knife through the skin. If it meets a lot of resistance, return the potatoes to the oven to bake more. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes cool, top broccoli with cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted.
To serve the potatoes, slice into the potato lengthwise and horizontally, open the potato by squeezing the ends of the potato. Add butter. Top with roasted broccoli and cheese. Top with sour cream. Serve immediately.