Tuesday, 2 October 2012

GREEK STYLE ROASTED POTATOES

 

Oregano, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Four ingredients that make a spud taste awesome! Peel, mix and roast. Simple and yet so flavourful. This way of cooking potatoes is very popular in Greek homes. The ubiquitous Greek roasted potato! Every Greek or friend of a Greek has either eaten them, or cooked them, or both. A good accompaniment to Greek roasted potatoes is feta cheese. That, some olives and a salad are an excellent and inexpensive meal. 

For this recipe, I always use Yukon Gold potatoes, a variety that's grown here in North America and is very similar to the ones available in Europe. The Yukon Gold potato entered the market in 1980, and it's a cultivar developed in Canada. It's distinguished by its thin, smooth, yellowish skin. Its flesh is golden yellow in colour and high in moisture content, and its flavour is extraordinary: sweet and buttery. These types of potatoes can be baked, boiled, or grilled, and will always yield the best results! 

 Ingredients:

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano plus a little more to use as a topping
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable broth
juice squeezed from one large juicy lemon
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, and maybe a little feta cheese, too, if you're feeling up to it


Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  • Smash the garlic cloves and peel them. Remove the green sprout from the middle of each garlic clove. Do this because the sprout can turn a funny grey colour when it's roasted (as I have learned from experience), and I don't think you're going to like grey stuff mixed in with your potatoes, even if you know it used to be some harmless little garlic sprout. Once the sprouts are discarded go ahead and mince the garlic.   
  • In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the olive oil, the oregano, the minced garlic, and the salt and pepper. Come on, get your hands in that bowl and get the tossing action going! 
  • Now, spread out the potatoes in a baking pan. They have to be in one layer, so choose a pan that can accommodate them that way.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven.
  • Add the broth and the lemon juice.  Grab yourself a spoon and toss those potatoes once again. At this point, you can add some feta cheese if you like. 
  • Place the pan back in the oven and finish cooking the potatoes. This should take an additional half hour to forty minutes. They'll be done when tender in the middle and browned around the edges.  
  • Take the potatoes out of the oven, place them on a serving dish and for garnish sprinkle a little oregano and a handful of Pecorino Romano cheese.   
  • Feta cheese? You can add some more: crumble a little feta cheese into tiny pieces and sprinkle it on top. Or, you can have the feta on the side, which is my personal preference. 
  • Serve while they are still warm, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!