Kitchen Captivated: Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Gremolata

If your favorite way to cook is barely cooking at all — this is the recipe for you.

Because this is the annual Beer Edition, my original plan was to feature a dish cooked or braised in beer. And with a bounty of local beers to choose from, I filled our refrigerator with a wide selection to taste and enjoy as I planned my recipe.

As the week went along my husband and I would open a beer after dinner, passing it back and forth, sipping and commenting on what we liked. Often, we would wander out to the backyard, sitting in our Adirondack chairs, facing west, looking out on orchards and Mount Adams peeking from behind the rolling hills. If there was ever a more “Yakima” moment, I don’t know what it would be. We realized very quickly we didn’t want to miss the flavors and nuance of the beer by hiding it in a recipe. We simply wanted to enjoy it.

My favorite way to cook, especially for a crowd, is to barely cook at all. I love nothing more than when a few simple ingredients come together to make something really special. Case in point: these crispy roasted potatoes. The secret? Pre-boiling them before roasting so they are tender on the inside and delightfully crispy and golden brown on the outside. For an extra-special touch, I tossed them in an easy gremolata for maximum flavor impact.

What is gremolata? It’s just a quick mixture of herbs and lemon zest. Not quite a dressing, but closer to a sauce, gremolata is often poured over grilled fish or meat. But I promise you; it’s out of this world on potatoes.

Give these special potatoes a try. The key to extra-crisp potatoes is the two-step process before roasting them. Don’t skip the soak or the quick turn in boiling water. Be generous with your olive oil and don’t forget to turn them so every side of the potato gets crispy and brown. If your people balk at green stuff on their potatoes, set aside a few for them or simply serve the gremolata on the side. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Gremolata

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 pounds tri-colored baby or fingerling potatoes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

Gremolata

  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • Zest of ½ small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Start by washing, then soaking the potatoes in a big pot of cold water for about an hour. If you’re short on time and don’t have a full hour, even 20 minutes will do. But don’t skip this step! The soaking is an important step in creating a crispy delicious potato.

Drain the water from the potatoes and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Boil for about five minutes, checking periodically. You want to be able to stick a fork into them but not be mushy at all. As soon as they are fork-tender, remove from heat, drain the water and rinse the potatoes in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Slice the potatoes in half. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Using a spatula or clean hands, gently toss the potatoes in the oil to make sure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in a 425-degree oven for about 40 minutes, stirring and flipping the potatoes at least once halfway through the cooking process. The potatoes are done when they are golden brown and crispy.

For the gremolata, finely mince your herbs. In a small bowl combine herbs, lemon zest and red pepper flakes with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil into the bowl and using a fork, mix the ingredients together. Spoon the gremolata over the warm potatoes using as much or as little as you like. Toss the potatoes with a spatula to evenly coat the vegetables.