Roasted potatoes are one of our go-to side dishes, so we’re always looking for new ways to make them standout. Recently, we came across celebrity chef Rachael Ray’s viral recipe for Crispy Lemon Smashed Potatoes — which features a few simple tricks that take spuds to the next level, from smashing the potatoes to squeezing them with lemon after they’re finished roasting. But, you’ll be impressed at how they work to create a mouthwatering batch of roasted potatoes. Keep reading to learn more about these clever tips and our experience trying these roasted potatoes with a citrusy twist.
The basics of roasting potatoes
Roasted potatoes are one of the simplest dishes as it mainly involves mixing any kind of spuds with oil and seasonings before roasting them. These steps are guaranteed to produce crispy and tender potatoes. But, small tweaks make a huge difference for a more flavorful batch of spuds. Take it from Rachael, whose roasted spuds recipe showcases easy tricks that elevate roasted fingerling or baby potatoes!
Rachael Ray’s 3 tricks for delicious roasted potatoes
Rather than peeling and chopping the potatoes, Rachael saves time by leaving them whole with their skins on. Afterwards, she uses three tricks to enhance the spuds’ flavor and texture.
1. Smash the potatoes.
Rachael partially boils (or “parboils”) the potatoes so the inside is slightly tender and can absorb the seasonings. Then, she says to “crush them with the bottom of a water glass.” This step flattens the potatoes so that extra surface area helps them roast quicker and develop lots of crispy bits. It’s best to do this trick once the potatoes are drained and sitting on the baking sheet.
2. Roast the spuds at a high oven temperature.
A high oven temperature like 450°F produces roasted potatoes with a brown and crispy exterior that nicely contrasts the tender interior.
3. Squeeze a caramelized lemon over the roasted potatoes.
As a final touch of flavor, Rachael squeezes the juice from a caramelized lemon over the potatoes. Charring lemons cooks their natural sugars, which reduces their bitterness and makes them sweeter. This adds a hint of brightness to your roasted spuds.
How to make crispy lemon potatoes
Below, you can find steps from Rachael’s TikTok on how to make these potatoes. They’re bursting with sweet and earthy flavors, making them perfect to serve alongside baked chicken, grilled steak or sautéed fish. Yum!
Crispy Lemon Potatoes
- 1 lb. whole skin-on baby or fingerling potatoes
- 3 to 4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon
- Salt and peper
- Yield: 2 to 3 servings
- Place potatoes in pot and fill with enough cold water to fully submerge them.
- Bring to boil over medium heat and cook uncovered about 20 minutes. Potatoes should be slightly soft but not mushy. Drain and let cool in pot for 2 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Arrange potatoes in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Smash potatoes with bottom of glass to slightly flatten surface. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir to coat potatoes in seasonings.
- Roast around 45 minutes, or until spuds are golden brown and crispy.
- As potatoes are roasting, heat small skillet over medium heat. Place lemon half flesh side down on skillet and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Once lemon is caramelized, remove from skillet and set aside to cool slightly.
- After potatoes are finished roasting, take baking sheet out of oven and squeeze lemon over spuds. Serve potatoes in bowl and enjoy.
My taste test
Making this myself, I was curious how these roasted potatoes would taste better than other recipes I’ve tried. Taking the first bite, I immediately tasted the lemon’s subtle zing and sweetness — which balanced the buttery richness from the potatoes. Also, flattening the potatoes helped the skin turn into a browned crust once roasted. The simple addition of salt and pepper was enough to season the potatoes as the olive oil and caramelized lemon provided extra fruity and earthy flavors. This recipe certainly didn’t disappoint and is proof that roasted potatoes can steal the show at the dinner table!
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