Although I am an advocate for cold summer meals like charcuterie and salads, there’s one dish that will get my vote come rain or shine: roast potatoes. They are often the most popular dish on the menu, beating meaty roasts and beautiful pudding by a long shot.
I prefer to work with baby potatoes, as they are already a great size – no cutting required. I boil them until they are just tender, then crush them gently with the back of a spoon until they crack open, yet still remain in tact. These beautiful potatoes then get a luscious coat of olive oil and a good seasoning of salt & pepper before joining a bunch of whole garlic cloves in the oven. I turn them once through the roasting process to make sure they are golden on both sides, then transfer the precious nuggets to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, then serve with your main meal along with my versatile yoghurt & mustard sauce.
I’ve also serve these at room temperature – they just become better and better. Great as an in-between snack, dunked in the yoghurt sauce. These will become a household favourite – I can promise you that!
Ingredients: (serves 6-10)
- 2 kg firm baby potatoes
- 2 heads of garlic, skinned but whole
- 1 cup good quality olive oil (or canola oil, or a mixture)
- salt and black pepper
- a handful of parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, add the potatoes, then cover with cold water. Bring to the boil on the stovetop, then cook until just tender – about 10-13 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 220 C.
- Drain off the water, then transfer the potatoes to a large roasting tray. Use the back of a spoon to crack each one gently, still leaving them in tact but creating crevices for the oil & seasoning to be absorbed.
- Add the garlic cloves, drizzle the oil all over, then season generously with salt & pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn each potato with tongs and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until they are golden brown on both sides.
- Remove from the oven, then transfer to a serving dish using a slotted spoon (discard the excess oil). Scatter with chopped parsley.
Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe
Photography: Tasha Seccombe
Styling: Nicola Pretorius