A golden crust that complements the creamy potatoes is the magic that happens when a clever baking method meets a little bit of olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
When I think of St. Patrick ‘s Day, I think of Leprechauns, four leaf clovers, and wearing green. I also think back to elementary school when a friend’s mother delivered Shamrock Shakes for the entire class every March 17th. It was most definitely a lucky day!
But since we can’t exist on green milkshakes alone, I have a few other Irish-inspired recipes that are especially fitting in the month of March. And what could be more Irish than potatoes? (Or soda bread…click here for my original, wholegrain version with steel cut oats and here for a slightly sweet sunflower cinnamon option, which makes delicious French toast!)
The following recipe came about one weekend many years ago when I forgot to buy bread at the store. Grilled cheese and PB&Js, which were my boys’ top lunch picks at the time, were out. Undeterred (and hungry!), I figured I could do something creative with a few potatoes that needed to be used.
I borrowed a cheese crust concept I typically use in a baked mashed potato recipe and applied it to whole potatoes. The result was similar to potato skins and enjoyed by all. In the time since, the easy recipe has become a reader favorite and a frequent dinner request by my kids and husband alike.
- 3 small to medium baking potatoes, halved lengthwise (longer, thinner potatoes work well)
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt and a few turns of the pepper mill
- Chives, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of a 9×9-baking dish with the olive oil, and then evenly distribute the grated Parmesan over the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. (See notes)
Place the potato halves, cut side down, on top of the cheese mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Precise baking time will depend on the thickness of your potatoes.
Cool for five minutes before serving. Remove to a platter with a metal spatula, and garnish with snipped chives, if desired. Leftovers are equally delicious reheated in the oven.
- If you wish to make enough to fit in a 9×13 pan, you will not need to fully double the olive oil. You basically want to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer of oil, and then add enough Parmesan cheese to lightly cover the oil. After you have followed the recipe once or twice, you will be able to “eyeball” it.
You may also enjoy:
A satisfying salad using Parmesan Crusted Potatoes