Crispy, Lemony, Potatoes

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow”

A A Milne

I wholly agree that anyone who likes potatoes is probably alright, but I wouldn’t describe this way of cooking potatoes as ‘decent’ exactly – not like the comfortable potato in its jacket for example. On the contrary, I reckon this method produces something slightly dangerous and dashing. Dashing because of the exotic, sparkling pepper, the Gallic garlic, the bright lemon….and the sheer crispiness of them.

These potatoes are a great favourite with a Greek friend of mine, whose idea was to scent them with rosemary, making them even more dashing. Sometimes I add little pieces of preserved lemon too.

They are a favourite of mine too as they are a way of roasting potatoes without having to peel them.

They go especially well with raspberry vinegar chicken.

Recipe for crispy, lemony potatoes

For six

  • 5kg/3 lb 4 oz roasting potatoes (go here for a list of good ones for roasting), cut to more or less the same size but not peeled
  • Olive oil for roasting and dressing
  • 2 bay leaves and a big sprig of rosemary
  • 1 small bulb of garlic, divided into cloves but not peeled
  • 1 small (or half a large) lemon, its juice and zest
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • Smoked salt and red Kampot or Sichuan pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 210°C
  2. Put your potatoes in a saucepan with cold water, bring to the boil and continue to boil for eight minutes.
  3. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of a roasting tin and get it good and hot.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander or prep-a-lot, leave to steam-dry and joggle to roughen up a bit.
  5. Pour a little olive oil over them and mix in to cover the surfaces of the potatoes without breaking them up too much.
  6. Add the potatoes to the roasting tin, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and cook for about 40 minutes.
  7. Mix four tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of the lemon and pour over the potatoes, turn and coat the potatoes in the new liquid.
  8. Add the cloves of garlic, the bay leaves and the rosemary
  9. cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are done.
  10. Sprinkle over the parmesan and the lemon zest, remove the bay leaves and rosemary, and serve.
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