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The Secret to Better Home Fries? Cook Them Like the French Do

How to make pommes persillade (potatoes with parsley and garlic).

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Photos by Jesse Szewczyk

Pommes persillade might sound fancy, but the homey side dish — a staple on bistro menus — is incredibly easy to make at home. Crispy potatoes with soft, tender centers are tossed in melted butter, minced garlic, and fresh parsley to create the ultimate side dish. It’s like the classic diner home fries you know and love, only elevated.

The trick to getting these potatoes super crispy is to boil them in salted water before pan-frying them. This does two things: It cooks the potatoes all the way through so they are perfectly tender, and it helps bring some of the potatoes’ gelatinized starches to the surface so the potatoes get nice and crispy. To do this, you’ll cover diced potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil, drain them, and let them dry on a sheet tray, where they’ll cool for at least 10 minutes to allow the excess water to evaporate. Then, fry them in a hot skillet to crisp them up.

Here, we’re garnishing the crispy spuds with shredded Parmesan cheese to amp up their savoriness, but you can leave it out and still end up with a delicious side dish. Serve them immediately to maintain their crispy texture and pair with your favorite protein for the ultimate weeknight dinner.

Pommes Persillade

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut 4 medium russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife but not falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels.

  2. Drain the potatoes, then transfer onto a baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Pat the potatoes dry with more towels and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mince 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chop the leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, and finely shred 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup). Microwave 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until melted, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the potatoes and cook, stirring and flipping them often, until golden-brown and crisp on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer the potatoes into the bowl of garlic butter and toss to coat. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with the Parmesan.

Jesse Szewczyk is a Studio Food Editor at The Kitchn.