Lemony Roasted Potatoes with Aleppo Pepper & Herbs

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I love using lemon 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.  The potatoes are substantial. The lemon and mint give them vitality and excitement, suitable for hot weather meals.   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/vegan table too.

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. 

 

 

 

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Lemony Roasted Potato Recipe

Serves 4-6

Some Notes:

I use coarse Mediterranean sea salt here, but kosher salt is fine too. Good salt can enliven any recipe. I like Celtic gray salt too. 

Aleppo pepper comes from northern Syria. It’s moderately spicy with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones.  I find it online or in Middle Eastern markets.

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • A sprinkling of Aleppo chili pepper (see notes) or red chili flakes
  • For Serving: sprinkling of fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt or celtic gray salt,  lemon wedges
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375

In a large baking pan, toss the potatoes with olive oil, some coarse sea salt,  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. Serve and enjoy!

 

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