Homemade Tuscan Herb Gourmet Potato Chips

A gourmet homemade snack remininscent of the Tuscan countryside!

Pairs well with Pinot Grigio, or Prosecco. Salute!

When I was in Tuscany last summer, the one thing that stood out to me about Tuscan cuisine, is their reliance on fresh and dried herbs to pack a flavorful punch in their dishes.  Herbs grow wild everywhere, and many people even have huge terracotta planters with giant rosemary bushes flanking both sides of their front door. Manicured, herb gardens are an integral part of the landscape, and are considered an extension of the actual home. It’s common to see enormous laurel bushes (bay leaf), lavender bushes, full rosemary bushes in terracotta planters everywhere, and even caper berries growing wild up the sides of buildings! It’s remarkable!

I love this respect that Tuscans have for their land and the bounty it provides. Tuscan speak of the land as if it was an actual member of their own family.  I really dig that about them, and makes me respect my own garden that much more!

Truffle, Porcini, and lemoninfused sea salts

  My second “star ingredient” in my chips is flavor-infused sea salts. When I was roaming around the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy, I came upon these may different varieties of infused sea salts, and bought a variety to bring back to the states to experiment with. The basil-infused sea salt fit perfectly in the Tuscan Herb profile of my chips for that herbacious, earthy note I was trying to achieve. . Next time, I think I’ll experiment with the truffle and porcini…or, maybe lemon-infused and black pepper?  The combinations are endless!!  Can’t wait to experiment in the kitchen and report back to you! You won’t find chips like these at the grocery store! Not for under four dollars a bag! And, for pennies, I made a huge batch.  So, why not give it a whirl, and impress your friends? And, if you’re not up to the labor of making your own chips,  you want a quicker fix, or something lighter and healthier, perhaps use the infused-salt-herb coating on your stove top-popped popcorn?  Only takes minutes!
These easy-to-make, gourmet potato chips are an homage to the Tuscan people. They’re little powerhouses of flavor; they remind you that the best flavors are simple & pure, and you don’t have to look further than your own backyard.  No flavored dips needed with these chips; that would only be gilding the lily!  

A few humble ingredients are transformed into something gourmet.

Adding baking soda really makes the chips airy!


4 large potatoes (peeled and sliced very thinly with a mandolin slicer)
5 Tablespoons of baking powder
¼ cup of fresh rosemary (chopped finely)
¼ cup of dry sage leaves (chopped finely)
2 Tablespoons of coarse, basil-infused sea salt*
1 teaspoon of coarse, Himalayan Sea Salt
1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
4 cups of canola oil (for frying, may use peanut oil, if desired)
1 liter of cold water (for soaking potatoes)

*May use less salt, if desired

 SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:  candy thermometer, mandolin slicer, wire-mesh slotted spoon, mortar & pestle  (if you do  not have a mortar & pestle you may use a spice, or coffee grinder to pulverize your salts, just make sure there is no coffee ground residue.)

 Step-byStep Pictorial:


Okay, my fellow chip epicureans, let’s get started!

1.) Peel the potatoes with a mandolin slicer

Experiment with different salt flavors

2.)  In a large Pyrex bowl, add the baking powder to 1 liter of cold water. Stir to thoroughly combine and dissolve

3.) Add the potato slices and allow to soak for at least one hour

4.)  After at least one hour of soaking potatoes, drain in a colander

5.)  Using a clean kitchen towel, dry the potatoes and allow to lie flat on  a towel to absorb any moisture before frying

6.) Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the sea salts in to a fine powder

7.) Fine-mince the rosemary and sage, and combine with the salt powder, and add 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.  Set aside in a very large bowl for tossing with the potato chips after they’re fried.

8.) Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil to 350 degrees.

9.) Working in small batches, fry the potatoes until golden and crispy, and with a mesh spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, so the paper towel absorbs any excess oil. 

10.) When all the chips are fried, toss in a large bowl with the Tuscan herb mixture. 

And, there you have it! Gourmet Tuscan Herb Potato Chips, just like the Old Country!      
Buon Appetito!

Live your life in Italian!
Fresh rosemary bush at the Cantine Leonardi DaVinci in Vinci, Italy (Toscana)

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