I seem to have started something I am currently unable to quit. Remember when I made this chicken? And then this dessert? And how, before that, my husband made this? And even farther before that, I made this? I know it’s summer and all, but, man, I just can’t seem to stop grilling everything in sight.
As I may have mentioned a million or more times in the past year or so, Portland is not known for its particularly hot weather. On the rare occasion the temperature rises towards the upper-90s, it seems as though everyone in the city leaves their kitchens and heads outdoors to do their cooking. I am guilty of the same, but now, having grilled my fair share of meals so far this summer, I can’t seem to walk away from the grill. It’s not even that hot outside anymore. I just like grilling.
As my summer of grilling rolls along, I am reminded of things that I have eaten over the years, all lovingly prepared on a grill. Untold numbers of grilled vegetables, a foray into beer can chicken, and this, a dish I seem to throw together several times a summer, yet never really bothered to write down, such is its simplicity and limitless propensity for adaptation and transformation. You start with a large piece of foil, add some sort of root vegetable—potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, what have you—then throw on some sliced onions or shallots, toss on some cloves of smashed garlic, nestle in some fresh herbs, then dab on a bit of butter or oil (or both), perhaps some lemon slices, maybe something spicy, sprinkle on salt and pepper, then wrap it up, leave it on the grill, and walk away. 30 or 40 minutes later, after doing virtually nothing, you’ve got this: a pouch of steaming, slightly crisp vegetables, caramelized onions and garlic, and a pool of juices meant to be poured over whatever else you’ve got going on your grill. It’s a dead simple dish, and one that I consider a summer standard. I invite you to make it one of yours as well.
Grill-Roasted Lemon Rosemary Potatoes Recipe
Like I said, this dish is great at being adapted. Sometimes I start with potatoes, onions, and garlic, then add turmeric, cumin, and coriander instead of fresh herbs. Sometimes I use fresh fennel instead of onions. Sometimes I use sweet potatoes, sometimes I use Yukon Gold potatoes. Whatever you can dream up, I swear this dish can only shine brighter.
1 pound red or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into uniform size
1 large shallot, sliced into rings
4 or 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 rosemary stem, about 4 inches long
½ large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high.
Lay out a large piece of heavy aluminum foil. Add potatoes, shallot slices, garlic, rosemary, and lemon slices. Pinch off pieces of the butter and place on top. Drizzle over the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Tightly fold and close the foil over the mixture, adding a second layer of foil if your first one does not quite close all the way.
Grill the potatoes, grill lid down, over direct, medium-high heat. Turn once or twice to aid in even cooking (although, to be perfectly honest, I have, on more than one occasion, forgotten to do this and the potatoes turned out just fine). Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and the shallots are meltingly soft and sweet.
Be exceptionally careful when opening the foil pouch to check your potatoes, as the escaping steam is dangerously hot. Discard lemon slices and rosemary stem, then serve.