Alex and my first date was awkward. We were 19 and he got up the courage to ask me to dinner. I don’t remember much, but I remember two things: one, that I was quite sure there would be no second date. The second was what we ordered: for him, angel hair pasta with tomatoes; for me, a huge double bacon cheeseburger with french fries. Talk about role reversal! It makes me giggle to this day to think of me gobbling down a huge burger while Alex daintily twirls his pasta…except there was nothing dainty about Alex’s eating habits at age 19!
Fast forward many years and we eventually fell in love and got married (a lesson to all you ladies out there; give him a second date if it’s still awkward, but go ahead and draw a line at three). Early in our marriage we became interested in food and cooking, and gave up our fast food and processed food ways for home cooked ones. Instead of going out, we’d attempt to make some of our favorite comfort foods from scratch.
One of the favorite tricks we learned early on in cooking was that roasted vegetables taste fantastic. Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, even Brussels sprouts, mixed with a bit of olive oil and kosher salt, are a new creature after spending some time in a 450F oven. Amazingly, french fries can be made using the same technique. They take a bit of time to chop and roast, but the hot oven makes crispy, faux-fried goodness out of a russet potato.
This recipe came out of a challenge to recreate some garlic rosemary fries we’d had at a dear friend’s wedding (one of our travel companions in Greece). We morphed the garlic rosemary flavors into an aioli, a Mediterranean sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and egg yolk. The olive oil is drizzled in until the sauce forms a creamy emulsion. The fries are fabulous without the aioli, but it amps them up quite a bit. You’ll notice there’s quite a bit of olive oil in the recipe; however, olive oil is a healthy fat, which is known to help you fight stress, improve mood swings, decrease mental fatigue and even manage your weight. So, we hope you enjoy this healthier version of our favorite comfort food — let us know if you try them out (and we apologize, they’re a little addicting).
Why to Make It: These homemade oven-baked french fries are crispy and healthier than the standard fried fare. The garlic rosemary aioli hits it out of the park.
When to Make It: Anytime
Caveats: It takes more time than a drive-through, but the taste (and the health benefits) is well worth it.
Other Roasted Veg
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pecans
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Cauliflower with Apple and Dill
- Roasted Delicata Squash Fries with Buffalo Sauce
- Roasted Fingerling and New Potatoes with Rosemary
- Roasted Potatoes with Chive Oil and Creme Fraiche
- Roasted Root Vegetables
***We created this recipe for one of our favorite olive oil producers ever, California Olive Ranch. We love COR (can we call it that for short?) first of all because the oil is top quality and delicious. COR is also a pretty cool company: they’re working to make truly great olive oil come out of California (like all of those great wines), using both time honored farming techniques and modern technology. They’ve developed their own ranches and helped family farmers throughout Northern California develop previously unusable farm acreage into olive orchards. And they use sustainable production methods, which is very important to Alex and me. What it means to you is that we’ll be bringing you more recipes with olive oil and nutrition facts like these over the next year. Thank you so much to California Olive Ranch for sponsoring what we do here at A Couple Cooks! We’re honored to work together.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ½ teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Wash the potatoes (do not peel). Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice the potato in half lengthwise. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a ¼-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible.
- Place the fries in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 ½ teaspoons mustard powder, 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
- Bake 20 minutes on one side, then flip the fries and bake 15 additional minutes until the fries are crisp and golden brown, watching carefully as the cooking time can depend on the fry thickness and oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to bake a few more minutes.)
- Cool for a few minutes, then serve immediately. (Note that the fries are best served immediately; they become softer as they sit.)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Mince 2 cloves garlic and the leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs. Use the side of a knife to grind them into a paste with 1 pinch kosher salt.
- In a bowl, combine the garlic rosemary paste with 1 egg yolk and 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar. Whisk to combine.
- Gradually add up to ½ cup olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until a thick and creamy texture is reached.
This post is sponsored by California Olive Ranch. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the partners who keep A Couple Cooks in action!