Monday, June 17, 2013

Lemony Roasted Potatoes with Crunchy Sea Salt & Fresh Herbs

This is the third consecutive recipe with lemon and herbs as key ingredients. There will be many more.  I love using them to add sparkle and zip to almost any recipe, especially in summer. Here, they dress up golden brown fingerling potatoes. Roasted potatoes with a creamy center and a splash of energizing citrus are good eating.    

Pink-tipped roses in a vintage pitcher

Fingerling potatoes always grab my attention at my local Italian grocery store. I even bypass the fancy purple potatoes for their taste and texture. My Italian market also has reasonably-priced fresh produce, handmade pasta and beautiful flowers. I usually come home with freshly made, delicate angel hair pasta or stuffed ravioli, crusty bread, artisan cheese, fresh veggies and bouquets of pink roses. Living close to such a wonderful market is a cooks dream. 

Before I leave for my evening job at the crisis center, I take my beagle for a 2-3 mile walk on the Charles River. I'm a city girl living near a part of the river, close to Boston, where nature abounds. We walk briskly, while I listen to the invigorating beats of house music (my favorite style of music to walk to).

Whipping up something simple and tasty to take for dinner is important to me too. I'm comforted knowing my dinner awaits me. These potatoes were paired with a salad and a piece of Claudia Roden's simple baked kibbeh. I made the kibbeh with lean beef. I like that my hubs comes home to a good meal too.

A gentle part of the riverbend

Lemony Roasted Potato Recipe
Serves 4-6

Some Notes:

Any fresh tasting herb or small size potato will work here. I used parsley and mint because mint says summertime to me and because these herbs are used a lot in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. But basil or chives would be great too.

This dish is good warm, at room temperature or hot from the oven, making it a nice recipe for summer gatherings. Potatoes are a familiar sidekick for grilled fish, chicken or steak, but they're equally welcome on a vegetarian table too.

The potatoes are roasted with coarse Mediterranean sea salt, but kosher salt would be fine too.  I used Baleine Coarse French Sea Salt. It's evaporated by the sun and sea breezes, making it taste pure and clean. Salt is such a simple ingredient. Good salt can enliven any recipe. 

The potatoes are substantial. The lemon and mint give them vitality and excitement, suitable for hot weather meals.

Aleppo pepper comes from northern Syria. It's moderately spicy with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones.  

You'll Need:
  • 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes or other small potatoes
  • 1-2 lemons, zest one and reserve the zest 
  • Generous handfuls of fresh mint and parsley, chopped.  
  • Olive oil for cooking, I used unfiltered.
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked pepper or a sprinkling of Aleppo chili pepper (see notes)
  • For Serving: Sprinkling of fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt (optional) 

The Rundown:

Preheat the oven to 375

In a large baking pan, toss the potatoes with olive oil, some coarse sea salt, fresh cracked pepper or Aleppo pepper and the lemon zest. Roast for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven. The salt will have dissolved a little in the pan. Toss again. Put the pan back in the oven and cook for 15 more minutes or until  the potatoes are tender and done. Before serving, add the fresh herbs, a couple of good squeezes of lemon juice and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt like fleur de sel (optional).  Serve and enjoy!  


  1. Lemon flavor always goes so well with potatoes! What a beautiful photo of the pond with the tree hanging over it.........

    1. Hi Julia, Thanks! These potatoes are a good summertime side dish. I've gotta pop on over to your blog to see what your cooking!