When I was making my shopping list on Saturday for the dinner party, I opened Heidi Swanson‘s latest (terrific) cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, and found the page I’d marked. It was a recipe for Baked Purple Hedgehog Potatoes, seasoned with harissa and served with a creamy dipping sauce. She used baby blue potatoes, sliced at 1/4″ intervals (almost all the way through the potatoes, but not quite), like this:
When they bake, the slices separate a bit and the potatoes come out looking like . . . potatoes, sliced very thin (almost all the way through), maybe with some stuff shoved in the cracks, depending on what you add. I admit, I’m not all that familiar with hedgehogs, but thinking back on those hedgehog-shaped pencil holders – you know, the roughly animal-shaped desk accessories with a forest of rounded plastic stalagmites protruding from them, so you can keep your pencils vertical and immediately accessible? – I got into the idea. Sure, potatoes can look like hedgehogs, too. Why not?
Hedgehog Potatoes with Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette (PDF)
Recipe 283 of 365
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Hedgehog Potatoes in Super Natural Cooking, this is a great way to serve potatoes with a little intrigue. Since I was looking for a potato I could bake and then reheat again closer to serving time, I used sturdy baby Russet potatoes, but new potatoes or smaller Yukon Golds would also work well. Roasting time will depend on the type, age, and size of your potatoes, so if you use really small potatoes, start checking for doneness about 20 minutes after you remove the foil.
For fewer servings, just follow the basics – coat the potatoes in a light layer of olive oil, stuff with thyme and garlic, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. (If you have fewer potatoes, you can use any remaining vinaigrette on a salad.)
TIME: 20 minutes active time
MAKES: 12 servings
5 pounds baby Russet potatoes, sliced about 80% of the way through at 1/4” intervals
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the potatoes in a large roasting pan. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the olive oil over the potatoes, toss to coat evenly, then turn all the potatoes cut sides up. Gently prying each potato open, stuff the garlic and thyme into the cracks in the potatoes at random intervals, getting a little of both into each potato. Season with salt and pepper, and cover the pan with foil.
Roast, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and roast potatoes an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes, or until the potatoes are soft all the way through when poked with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk the mustards and vinegar in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper, and add the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a serving platter or bowl, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.