Plain baked potatoes are a solid side dish. Comforting and homey, with a crispy outside and fluffy inside, they’re a simple pleasure that’s pretty perfect just as they are.
Well, nearly perfect. There’s room for a tiny, yet important improvement: a homemade, flavored salt crust.
As Amee, the author of today’s recipe, Homemade Celery Salt-Crusted Baked Potatoes, says, simple things become special with “a little extra care.” And in this case, elevating baked potatoes beyond the basic only takes three ingredients (other than the potatoes themselves): celery leaves, salt, and an egg white for adhering the celery salt to the potatoes.
Amee has you heat the oven to 200 to 220° C (about 400 to 425° F) and then quickly roast the celery leaves just until they are crispy—not browned—before making the celery salt, coating the potatoes, and baking them at the same temperature. Because I am prone to distraction in the kitchen (and have not replaced my kitchen timer that died tragically when it jumped onto a hot burner), I prefer a slightly lower temperature like 350° F, which provides a slightly longer window of time for toasting without burning (and then crank it up for the potatoes), or to toast them in a pan as I learned to do from Heidi Swanson, which forces me to stay put and watch them. Regardless of which method you choose to crisp up your celery leaves, you’re sure to be amazed at how a handful of often discarded leaves can produce such a flavorful salt blend.
- Leaves from one bunch of celery
- Equal amount of salt to celery, judging by eye
- 4 (1/2-pound) baking potatoes
- 1 egg white
Then, once you’ve made, and enjoyed, celery salt-crusted baked potatoes, branch out, a whole new world of baked potatoes has just opened up:
- Cheese1227 suggests using the celery salt-crusted potatoes for Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins.
- Try crusting them with smoked salt and then topping the potatoes with chili.
- Or stick with plain, untopped baked potatoes, crusted with a mix of salt and Herbs de Provence.
- Come summertime, serve tomato salt-crusted potatoes alongside a Bloody Mary Steak Salad.
- Make a shichimi togarashi and salt crust, and top the potatoes with a pat of miso butter.
Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)?
Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!