lemon potato wedges
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This is definitely one of those dishes that look hugely better before cooking. Decorative lemon slices, pale yellow potatoes with a red dusting of paprika, glistening oil and the green sprigs of rosemary – pretty as a picture. After: burnt-on oil, darkened wedges interspersed awkwardly with blackened lemon; all shrivelled, twisted and shrunk.
Some dishes are never aesthetically pleasing on the eye: chili con carne for instance. Fish, especially whole fish is particularly impossible: when raw it looks all right-ish, if you go for that silvery, fishy kind of look. Once cooked, my goodness: milky dead eyes, bones poking out here and there, gills, fins, tail, the lot – pretty ghastly. Likewise grilled or roasted vegetables: vibrant peppers, purple aubergines and vivid courgettes all turn flabby and kinda grey.
Casseroles and stews are the same. Raw diced meat and vegetables – all right, maybe not appetising but these days you look and Insta instead of eating. When cooked, tasty and fit for a feast, they turn into dirty brown gruel, usually. Pies are as bad, and gratins – don’t start me off. Handsome vegetables and grated cheese turn into creamy sludge that could hide anything underneath. Good job most people like them, but have you ever seen a gratin on Instagram? Precisely.
Back to my potatoes: I’m not a millennial or an Instagram queen and I actually eat, so these are a sure winner. What’s better than another way of cooking potatoes? I came across these on NY Times Cooking, and contrary to a possible first impression, they are not Greek style lemon potatoes. Excellent, all the same.
lemon potato wedgesServings: 4Time: 50 minutes
- 1kg (2 pounds) roasting potatoes (King Edward, Yukon Gold or similar)
- 2 lemons
- 50ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- black pepper
- a few sprigs or rosemary and thyme
- some fresh dill, finely chopped, for garnish
Scrub and dry the potatoes; don’t peel them. Cut them lengthwise into eights.
Thinly slice and deseed one lemon. Quarter the other one and reserve. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.
Place the potato wedges and lemon slices on a roasting tray, large enough to fit them in one layer. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika, salt and black pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss everything together with your hands, rubbing the seasoning and the lemon juice into the potatoes. Tuck the rosemary and thyme in between the wedges.
Roast for 40 minutes until browned and crisp, turning the potato wedges over halfway through.
Serve sprinkled with the dill, with the reserved lemon quarters on the side.