Apparently potatoes are the most-consumed vegetable in the US, thanks to fast food French fries. I’d put fries in my top five most favorite foods, but that statistic still depresses the starch out of me. As someone who spent my teen years eating more than my fair share of McDonald’s fries, I’m glad to say I’ve spent my adult years eating enough good potatoes to conclude that….fast food fries kind of suck. It’s pretty hard to beat a fresh, potato-y potato, roasted crunchy on a crispy fall evening, perfumed with garlic and preserved lemons. You could have just these potatoes for dinner, hot out of the oven, topped with dollops of Greek yogurt, with olives and good pickled things and a cool salad alongside.
I lucked into this particular batch of freshly dug taters courtesy of the Bossy Acres ladies. I drove out to their farm, near Northfield, Minnesota, to photograph them for the book I’m writing. Because they are as generous and gracious in person as they are on Facebook and Twitter, they sent me off with a CSA box of gorgeous bounty: kale, radishes, candy-sweet carrots, leeks, peppers, and microgreens. What a gift! And oh my gosh the potatoes, fresh and sweet and just perfect for crushing. (If you’d like your own Bossy CSA box come spring, sign up!)
Despite the chill and what sounds like our first kiss of snow later this very day, I know there are still freshly dug potatoes at the big farmers markets. Grab as many as you can and get roasting (boiling, mashing, crisping, etc.).
Crispy Crushed Potatoes with Preserved Lemon
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a side dish
Note: substitute additional olive oil for butter to make a vegan dish.
1 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed and dried
3 Tbsp. olive oil, with more for the pan
3 Tbsp. butter
1 preserved lemon, seeded and chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place potatoes in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Cover with cold water by 2 inches and add 2 tsp. of salt to the pan. Place pan over high heat and bring potatoes to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer potatoes gently until just done (easily pierced to the center with a sharp knife). Drain potatoes.
While potatoes cook, add olive oil and butter to a small skillet. Heat until butter is melted. Stir in the preserved lemon and garlic and remove from heat. Drizzle bit of additional olive oil onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
Space cooked potatoes evenly across baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, press down on each potato to lightly crush. Divide the oil/butter, including the pieces of preserved lemon and garlic, evenly over the potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with Kosher salt.
Roast potatoes for 20 minutes or until nicely crispy. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.