Roasted Potatoes & Onions with Herbs

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My grandpa loves potatoes. I think he would be happy to have a potato every day. It might be because he grew up during the Great Depression. Potatoes were comforting and filling, even when meat was scarce.

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Grandpa (aka “GG” to my kids, as in “great grandpa”) also loves onions. He has been known to snack on raw onion slices, and he will sometimes eat an onion sandwich (raw onion, toasted bread & mayo–I think). But the only cooked onions he likes are onion rings.

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When I was little my parents would sometimes order burgers (which are called “ground rounds” in Rochester) and onion rings from the restaurant “Vic & Irv’s.” Grandpa usually offered to go pick up our order, and more often than not I would tag along.

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When we got to the restaurant he would sit me on one of the high stools and fill up two little paper cups with dill pickle slices from the jar on the counter. We would snack on our pickles while we watched the cooks man the grill. Grandpa would tell me some story–his time in the war, his favorite cars & his childhood in Detroit were frequently the topics of conversation.

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When our order was ready we would snack on a few of the onion rings on our drive home. Those clandestine onion rings always tasted better than the rest. Maybe because they were fresh & hot, but more likely it was because they were a special treat shared with Grandpa.

I still get together with Grandpa for stories and special treats. We usually have donuts and coffee instead of onion rings, but what really matters is getting to spend time together.

I don’t share my Grandpa’s love for potatoes, but I love this recipe. Grandpa doesn’t usually like cooked onions, but I think he would like these. I’ll have to make him some the next time he is over for dinner.

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Roasted Potatoes & Onions with Herbs (adapted from a Fine Cooking magazine recipe)

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into thin chunks
1 sweet onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ slices
4 sprigs rosemary (see Notes for other herb options)
1 sprig tarragon, leaves removed & chopped
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with the vegetable oil.

Place the rosemary sprigs on the baking sheet. Place the onion slices in an even layer over top.

Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread the potatoes in an even layer over the onions, scraping any oil left in the bowl over top.

Roast the potatoes and onions for 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and lightly golden. Scrape the potatoes, onions and rosemary leaves (toss out the stems) into a large serving bowl and toss with the chopped tarragon.

Serves: 4-6

Time: 45 minutes

Notes: You can swap the herbs for other types if you want. Choose another sturdy herb (like thyme) if you want to replace the rosemary. Any tender herb (parsley, chives, & basil would all work) can replace the tarragon. I recommend trying the tarragon though–it really makes this dish special.

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