Ah, side dishes: the under-appreciated sidekick to every show-stopping main attraction.
Friends that I had wanted to catch up with were dropping by with their 12-week-old baby for dinner. I needed something that could be prepared with little concentration and a low margin of error, and that wouldn’t lead to interruptions from an oven timer, smoke alarm or visits from the local fire department. The Greek herb-roasted potatoes recipe sounded like a safe bet.
While sitting with our guests at the dining room table, I was able to peel and chop the potatoes, run to the kitchen for two minutes to assemble the dish and pop it in the oven, then dart back to snatch my friend’s baby from his mother’s arms and try to prop him up over my protruding belly. I needed some practice holding an infant again, and I figured it would be good for our toddler to get a glimpse of what his summer will be like with Mommy holding a baby and not able to instantly respond to his every command.
My plan worked beautifully, if I do say so myself. The peeling and chopping session was pleasant and easy, and I got to sit comfortably, rather than standing over the kitchen counter and peering over my shoulder every 30 seconds to keep an eye on my two-year-old. Meanwhile, the infant was sitting across from me in his mother’s arms, drooling and making sweet baby noises, my friends were nibbling on snacks and sipping hot chocolate (thanks to my husband), and our toddler was begging me for raw potato chunks since, after all, it was technically “food,” something that he would never pass up.
Roasted vegetables really are a dream. They require little supervision and they can cook in the oven below the main dish (for example, the Perfect roast chicken). I set the oven timer for three rounds of 30 minutes so I could remember to flip the potatoes over “occasionally.”
During the roasting period, the liquid had evaporated, so I needed to add some water to the potatoes near the end. Thankfully, the recipe had warned me of this possibility and offered a solution, otherwise I may have had quite the charred baking dish on my hands.
The end result was delicious: lemony, soft, roasted bite-sized potato goodness. My husband mentioned how much he loved them throughout the evening. Our toddler will only eat cooked potatoes if they are in French fry form but for everyone else, they were a hit.