Sea Salt Baked Potatoes

If you want to know how to bake potatoes like a pro, keep reading. I love this baked potato recipe, resulting in perfection every time. Crispy jackets split open to reveal a fluffy white potato interior.

Sea Salt Baked Potatoes

I don't know what happened, but it has been years since I've baked potatoes. And by baked potatoes, I mean the classic kind - crispy jackets that split open to reveal a fluffy white potato interior. The kind of potato flesh that likes to drink butter and mainline salt. On a quick grocery run after returning from Marfa, the russets were calling me. I remembered a simple, sea-salt baked potato recipe in Nigel Slater's Tender, grabbed some arugula, and was pretty confident I had everything else I'd need at home. If you want to know how to bake perfect potatoes, keep reading.

Baked Potato Recipe

On the road trip front, a number of you have asked, somewhat incredulously, why we would drive to Marfa, Texas. To which I sort of tilt my head, and start thinking more about it. There seems to be a long answer and a short answer. The short? We went to see visit this. The longer answer - we drove through Palm Springs, and Valentine, Canyon de Chelly, and Willcox. And cooked at beautiful rest stops, and took lots of pictures, and caught up on magazines, and sat in the sun, and saw this, and ate dinner outside more nights than not. I've driven through the Southwest and parts of northern Mexico a good number of times now, and West Texas is particularly beautiful. When you're out in the middle of the desert, its quiet. So so so so quiet. I love it.

Baked Potato Recipe

The potatoes? Really good too - give them a go. The spicy arugula and luxe dressing works perfectly. Top with a fried egg, and you've got a meal on your hands.

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Sea Salt Baked Potato Recipe

5 from 4 votes

I found some fantastic arugula, so that is what I used. But I could imagine using whatever green salad you like - spinach, baby romaine, maiche, etc. And I used big russet potatoes. The dressing calls for a raw egg yolk, if you're uncomfortable eating raw egg, swap in another favorite, luxe or creamy-ish salad dressing - this buttermilk one would be good, or this one, or the gribiche in Super Natural Every Day.

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • flaky sea salt
  • butter or olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne or tarragon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • a egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F / 200C degrees. Scrub the potatoes, prick them all over with a fork, and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Bake the potatoes until tender throughout. This can take an hour for large potatoes. Less for smaller spuds.
Make the Dressing:
  1. While the potatoes are baking, make the dressing. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, and olive oil with a big pinch of salt. Then whisk in the cheese, and finally the lemon juice. Taste, make any adjustments, and set aside.
Load up your Potato:
  1. Slice a big cross into the top of each potato, then gently but firmly push in on the ends of each potato. This way the tops open up, and you can begin to spoon out a bit of the potato filling. Add a pat of butter/olive oil to each potato, or a splash of the dressing and a bit of salt. Toss the arugula with a generous amount of the dressing, and then pile it into the potatoes. You'll likely have some leftover dressing to enjoy as needed with the salad and skins.

Adapted from Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, the US version, published by Ten Speed Press, 2011

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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This IS a good idea! I will tweak it a bit for more color, and serve it at my coffee shop in Washington


Great, easy dinner idea. :)

A Teenage Gourmet

I have never, ever, seen baked potatoes look so good. (And I am still dreaming of cucumbers, coconut and peanuts. Now if only our cuke seeds would poke through the soil...)


What is arugula? Sometimes you use ingredients that i have never heard of. If an ingredient has another name perhaps you could use them both. I love your recipes.


For a crispier potato skin rub the skin with butter or olive oil before putting them in the over.


Off (food) Topic Question: How long did you allot for this (FUN) excursion? I'm in Oakland, have always wanted to see Taliesin; am huge fan (from my NYC days '72-'05) of Donald Judd; have been to the (real) desert only once (saw de Chelly :-); and have never set foot in TX. This idea of a big circle has great appeal. (AND my DH is ALWAYS up for a road trip...) Thx in advance (...& for the potato+egg breakfast I just made: YUM!)

CA Lonergan

Very clever twist! These look fantastic!

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

I looove baked potatoes with a salted, crispy skin - and the thought of dressed arugula topped with a fried egg is divine. My great aunt had a ranch right outside of Marfa (the Hip-O ranch), and I grew up spending much time there. I also spent many summers at Mitre Peak Girl Scout Camp (right outsidse of Ft. Davis). I can remember one year when I was 8 years old, driving into Ft. Davis from Balmorrhea - that drive into the Davis Mountains is breathtakingly beautiful - and I thought to myself, "this is my favorite place on earth"... and it still is. :) to KnittingReader - do you remember in that Dairy Queen in Marfa that they had saddle barstools at the tables many years ago? I always loved that! lol! I don't know when they took them down, but they're not there anymore.


YUM!!! i loveee baked potatoes! they get a bad reputation for being a "white carb" but it is what you pair with it (i.e. globs of sour cream, cheese and butter or a big fat steak) that makes it a less of a healthy choice. Full of potassium and the skin has a ton of fiber! this looks great, especially with arugula and the mustard in the dressing. can't wait to try!

Kate @ the pseudovegan

My husband and I regularly make a meal of baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and pan-fried tofu. Baking them is so much better than microwaving them. I rub mine in olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper.


My kind of recipe; items easily on hand but wonderfully combined and surprisingly presented. Um mm good!

Tom @ Tall Clover Farm

I do the same as MJB - microwave for a few minutes first, then pop in oven. I also 'slam' the cooked potatoes down on the plate before opening as this seems to ensure fluffiness inside. Arugula is great with about anything.


I loved reading about your trip to Marfa. I spent a lot of time out there helping Donald Judd with the grand opening; he was good friends with my college art professor. I've been thinking about getting back; it's been more than 20 years. When we were there, the town consisted of a few simple shops, a diner, and a Dairy Queen. I understand that it has completely changed.


As a typical Finn I've always been a huge fan of good old potatoes. I love the look of these and the dressing sure sounds amazing! I know what you mean about quietness, I really miss the countryside where I feel like my ears are hurting because I can't hear anything!

Maria @ Scandifoodie

Thanks very much for this. Since baking takes a long time, one trick is to microwave the potatoes for about half the regular time, and then put them in a hot oven. Faster and less energy consumption, and I think they taste just fine this way. If you're ever in the UK, pubs and cafes often serve "jacket potatoes" = baked potatoes with a variety of toppings. Tasty and fresh and cheap too.


I just wrote a paper on Marfa, I hope to be able to visit one day, it is truly an amazing little place :). Also, these potatoes look amazing.


2 thoughts, this recipe is almost the perfect combo 4 me, arugula, salt, potato, parmesan... And it hit me, your photographs are beautiful and all the simple, sleek lines of the architecture kind of are embodied in this recipe, simple yet beautiful....


Everything that Nigel Slater does is amazing and I love these potatoes in particular. There's something about the fluffy inside and crisp outside that just transports me back to childhood. Thank you for sharing.


Pure food genius!

Cindy D

This post makes me throughly nostalgic. I took a similar road trip with my boyfriend in 2009 but going the other way, from Texas to California. We took 6 weeks so lots of exploring in the quiet lands of Texas and New Mexico. Did you make it to Big Bend? One of the most stunningly peaceful national parks. The Prada store in Marfa stopped our car wheels too. Thank you for a wonderful post and the baked potatoes look delicious too!

Katherine Preston

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