The recipe for lemon-roasted potatoes in Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot's new cookbook, Maximum Flavor, is definitely one of their easiest. Yet despite its simplicity, it still delivers on their title's promise—tender, luxurious potatoes infused with the perfume of the tangy lemons and sweet onions. These potatoes would be equally at home next to a roast chicken as they would amongst a full holiday spread (if you're thinking that far in advance).
Why I picked this recipe: Roasted potatoes make for one of my favorite fall comfort foods. Finding a way to add serious lemon flavor to these buttery spuds was too intriguing to pass up.
What worked: This technique of steaming and then roasting the potatoes is simply genius. Everything about this dish was stellar.
What didn't: No problems in sight.
Suggested tweaks: You could take the idea of roasting potatoes on a bed of aromatics and run with it. Fennel would be a lovely addition or substitution for the onions (pair it with tarragon). Or try scallions and ginger for an entirely different take. Whatever you do, don't skimp on the butter.
Reprinted with permission from Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot. Copyright 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 2 pounds 3 ounces (1,000 grams) new potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 small lemons, preferably Meyer
- Fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) olive oil
- 2/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (1.5 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C).
Set a stovetop steamer over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and steam the potatoes until tender when pierced with a cake tester, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, halve the onion through the root end so that there is a piece of core at the end of both halves holding the layers together. Cut off a small slice at one end of each lemon so that you just expose the inner fruit. Use a mandoline or sharp chef’s knife to thinly slice the onion and lemons, discarding the uncut end of the lemon, any seeds, and onion cores when you are done. Mix them together with your hands in a medium bowl and season with salt to taste.
Once the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a large plate to cool slightly and then use a paring knife to peel off the skins and discard. Cut each potato in half.
Put the olive oil in a heavy 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) roasting pan and rub it around the inside of the pan to coat it thoroughly. Layer the onions and lemons in the bottom of the dish. Lay the potatoes cut side down on top of them. Thinly slice the butter and lay one slice over each potato and scatter any extra over the top. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the dish and bake until the potatoes are a deep golden brown, about 10 more minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven and scatter the rosemary over the potatoes. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving so that the herb can permeate the dish. Serve from the roasting pan so the potatoes will remain crisp.