Both recipes in Mike Austin's cover story celebrating the versatile, beloved potato call for roasting potatoes on a layer of kosher salt.
Why do this?
Mostly for flavor, says Seasons chef Kevin Hickey. Some cooks also say the salt ensures even roasting, and thus tender flesh.
Though you might be loath to empty out half your box of salt, relax -- you can re-use the salt after roasting. Just pour it back into a pinch bowl, a resealable bag, whatever.
If you didn't notice, today's Food section was overwhelmingly starchy for obvious reasons, with our Low Mileage Kitchen column also offering potato lore and two more recipes and a corned beef (and potato!) recipe in Swap Shop.
Still didn't get your fill of spuds? Head to the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark, at 10 a.m. March 26 for a potato lecture given by culinary historian Andrew Smith. He's the author of the book, Potato: A Global History. Admission is $5. Call (312) 286-8781.