Kosher salt is one of my favorite mediums for cooking new potatoes under-2-inches-in-diameter. Roasting them buried in salt transforms them, yielding an extraordinarily pure flavor and creamy interior.
Place the dish of potatoes in salt on the table (on a trivet) with a serving spoon or a long fork for your guests to dig them out. Pass crème fraïche and/or unsalted butter, cracked toasted coriander seeds, and snipped fresh chives on the side for them to dress them as they like. It is a curiously lovely combination.
You can re-use the salt several times. Simply discard clumps that have absorbed juices and discolored. When cool, store in a plastic bag or jar in your pantry until ready to use gain. To break up chunks of salt, use a vegetable masher. Add new salt as necessary.
Salt-Roasted New Potatoes with Crème Fraïche and Cracked Coriander
A 3-pound box (or more) coarse/Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds whole, unpeeled new potatoes no larger than 2-inches in diameter such as Yellow Finnish or Bintje
About 3/4 cup creme fraïche or sour cream
About 3 tablespoons toasted cracked coriander seeds
About 4 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 400′.
Spread a 1/2 inch-thick layer of salt in a large, 2 or 3-inch deep ovenproof pan or dish. Nestle the vegetables in the salt spaced about 1/2-inch space apart.
Cover completely with salt.
Bake until tender, about 40 minutes (45 for potato pushing 2-inches). To test for doneness, use a skewer to spear a potato through the salt; it should pierce the flesh easily. AND/OR dig out one of the potatoes and press; it should split open easily.
Let the dish cool 5 minutes before serving.
Place little bowls of unsalted butter, crème fraïche, cracked coriander seeds and snipped chives on a platter or tray to make them easy to pass.
To roast and coarsely crush coriander: pour whole coriander seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, shaking frequently, until the lemony fragrance of coriander hits you.
Remove from the heat and pour into a mortar. Crush with a pestle until coarsely crushed but not powdery. Note: I make extra to keep on hand to use as a seasoning.