“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. 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
- 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
- Preheat your oven to 210°C
- Put your potatoes in a saucepan with cold water, bring to the boil and continue to boil for eight minutes.
- Add a little olive oil to the bottom of a roasting tin and get it good and hot.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander or prep-a-lot, leave to steam-dry and joggle to roughen up a bit.
- Pour a little olive oil over them and mix in to cover the surfaces of the potatoes without breaking them up too much.
- Add the potatoes to the roasting tin, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and cook for about 40 minutes.
- 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.
- Add the cloves of garlic, the bay leaves and the rosemary
- cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are done.
- Sprinkle over the parmesan and the lemon zest, remove the bay leaves and rosemary, and serve.