Herbed Potatoes Anna is a classic recipe which adds a touch of elegance to a comforting potato side dish.
Because I have a food blog and the Mr. and I share an unabashed love for going out to eat, we’re often labeled as “foodies.” I don’t despise the term, but I’ve also never identified with it. Wikipedia defines a foodie as someone who has an “ardent or refined interest in food.” While I most definitely have an ardent interest in food, I could hardly call it refined. Sure, I enjoy a chef-created menu with delicate flavors and gorgeous presentation, but most nights I’d just as soon have a big, juicy burger with a heaping side of fries.
I’m not a food critic, a judge, or a gourmet. I simply love food in all it’s many elegant and not so elegant forms.
In my mind, this Herbed Potatoes Anna hits the sweet spot between simplicity and refinement. It looks lovely on the plate, but at it’s heart, this dish celebrates one of the simplest, most comforting flavor combinations out there: Potatoes and butter.
I was thumbing through a vintage cookbook recently when a recipe for Potatoes Anna caught my eye. I had never heard of the dish before, but it sounded too good not to try. The most stripped down version of this recipe is made with layers of potato brushed in butter, salt, and pepper, then baked until golden and crispy on the outside. The finished dish is reminiscent of a potato pie, which is inverted onto a plate and served in wedges.
Potatoes have always been a staple on holiday tables, but a recipe like this makes them the star of the show. Idaho potatoes are an incredibly affordable way to not only add a flavorful and comforting side dish to your menu, but to do it in style. Potatoes Anna reminds us why the humble potato is still the go-to side dish for so many occasions. There simply isn’t anything quite as alluring as potatoes and butter.
For my version of this classic dish, I added a simple blend of fresh rosemary, thyme, and Gruyere cheese. It enhances the flavor, but doesn’t detract from the plain, simple, goodness of buttery potatoes. This is the kind of recipe that might earn you the nickname of “foodie” as well. It looks stunning on the plate, and would be lovely on your Passover or Easter tables. Your guests will ooooh and ahh over the crispy golden edges and flecks of thyme, but at the end of the day, this is just a 5 ingredient recipe which makes the most of one of life’s simplest pleasures. I love it not because it’s beautiful (although that’s certainly a bonus), but because it’s positively delicious. For a reluctant foodie like me, that’s all that really matters.
Skip the mashed potatoes and go for something just a bit different this holiday season. For more creative, elegant potato side dishes, visit Idaho Potatoes’ website, and be prepared to see the potato in a whole new light.
Herbed Potatoes Anna
- 6-7 medium russet Idaho potatoes, peeled
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
- 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a round baking dish (it should be at least 4 inches tall). Brush the bottom of your baking dish with melted butter, then press the parchment on top. Brush it with additional butter. Set aside.
- Use a mandoline slicer to slice the potatoes into thin (1/8 in) circles.
- Assemble a work station with your potatoes, melted butter, the chopped herbs, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper. Start by putting a slice of potato in the center of the baking dish then layer the potatoes over top of it in concentric circles, all the way out to the edge. Brush with butter then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, herbs, and cheese. Remember, every layer will be seasoned so it's best to keep a light hand with the salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining layers until no potatoes remain.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil (butter it if it's touching the top of the potatoes) and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, then bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden. Remove the pan from the oven and run a knife around the outside of the pan. Place a large plate on top of the casserole dish then carefully invert the potatoes onto the plate. If desired, you can sprinkle the top with a final layer of cheese and place the plate back in the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes to brown the top. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve in slices, like a pie.
Note: This post is sponsored by Idaho Potatoes. As always, all opinions are my own.