My New Favourite (Lemon-roasted) Potatoes

Well, we didn't end up building the garden this weekend, but had a really nice barbeque with some friends on Saturday night. It rained all day but cleared up enough in the evening that it was gorgeous and fresh and cool outside. And, to top off a beautiful evening I discovered my new favourite way to make potatoes!

Fresh organic potatoes

By the way, potatoes are a super-economical organic option ... you can get them on sale for less than $2 a kilo and there is so much you can do with them. Hash browns at breakfast, potato salad for lunch, roasted/mashed/baked/or chipped for dinner (well, not all on the same day!). But the lemon-roasted potatoes I'm going to tell you about in just a minute are not to be missed. Think Greek restaurant. Yum.

But first, let's go back to the beginning of the evening -

The night began with amber ales and pistachios and honey roasted cashews and tamari roasted pumpkin seeds ...

Roasted nuts and pistachios for nibblies

I put the nuts into old tea-light holders and shot glasses - neither of which have I used in years for anything, but this was a really easy way to make a stylish snacks bar. I roasted the nuts myself - I'll add a recipe for these later as I didn't even think to write down how much of this and that I used.

And then there was meat for the carnivores and zucchini salad and pickles and of course the Greek-style lemon potatoes ...

Lemon roasted potatoes

and finally we finished with a cup of tea and some of Margie's amazing peanut butter cookies (with criss-crosses on top and everything ... sadly devoured before pictures could be taken). The evening ended at 8:30 ... but hey, we all have young kids and I'm telling you 8:30 is the new midnight ...

I want to quickly share with you the potato recipe, because it really is amazing ... and I found it in a really good vegan cookbook called Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Now I don't usually cook vegan-ly because a) I like the basic wholefood-ness of butter and milk (ok, and the taste!) and b) because it's uncertain whether soy is good or bad for people who've had my kind of breast cancer.
(And isn't soy the food staple of vegans?) But I've found some really good recipes in this book that are well suited to anyone. This is one of them.

My New Favourite (Lemon-roasted) Potatoes

This serves 8-10 as a side dish

1 kg-ish scrubbed, peeled, and small-cubed potatoes (keep the peels!)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c lemon juice
the rind of 1 of the lemons (optional)
1/4 c roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1 c vegetable broth
2 Tbs fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste (or sauce works fine too)
salt and pepper to taste

1. You can use your potato peels to make a great veggie stock, with other veggie odds and ends out of your fridge. Otherwise, it's great compost.

2. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F.

3. The lemon rind and pumpkin seeds are my addition to the original recipe, and so are optional. I just like using the rind instead of throwing it away. I use my coffee grinder to grind up the rind + seeds into a powder that I use in all kinds of recipes.

4. Mix the oil, garlic, lemon juice, rind+seed powder (if using), veggie broth, oregano, salt and tomato paste in a large roasting pan (or I used a large lasagne dish). Add the potatoes and mix them around in the liquid until they're well coated.

5. Cover the pan with foil (or if you've run out like I did, be creative! I used a baking tray as a lid). Bake the potatoes for around 30-35 min, regularly mixing them around the liquid to keep them moist.

6. Then, remove the foil or lid and roast them another 15 min or so until most of the liquid is gone and the potatoes are starting to go a little brown and crispy. Just a little.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve up!

My photographic assistant

Enjoy! Amanda xx