Crispy Potatoes with Minty Pea Pesto and Creme Fraiche

I used to not be a big potato person. I love french fries, but roasted potatoes always seemed boring to me. Enter, these perfect SUPER crispy on the outside creamy on the inside roast potatoes. The trick is two fold: steam roast the potatoes first to get them super soft then rough them up a bit with lots of oil and salt so that each potato is coated in a layer of potato mush that crisps up in the oven. Finish them with loads of tangy creme fraiche and minty pea pesto for a decadent yet seasonal dinner side.


  • Fresh peas are a wonderful spring treat, but frozen peas can be used in a pinch when peas are out of season.

Serves 4


For the potatoes

  • 1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • ⅓+ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chili flakes, to taste

For the minty pea pesto

  • ¾ cup shelled fresh peas (or frozen)
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 packed tbsp chopped mint
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • ½-¾ cup creme fraiche 
  1. Preheat the oven to 450
  2. Lay the potatoes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour about 1 – 2 cups of water over the potatoes and cover the entire sheet with tin foil. Bake for 25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. 
  3. While your potatoes roast, bring a small pot of water to a boil and salt it heavily. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. 
  4. Blanch your peas in the hot water for 2 minutes (frozen will need only 1 minute). Drain and immediately place them in a bowl of ice water. 
  5. In a small mortar and pestle, smash ½ a clove of garlic with some salt until it forms a smooth paste. 
  6. Drain the peas, then add them to the garlic. Use the pestle to rough mash the peas. I like to keep mine a bit chunky. 
  7. Add the pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan and continue to mash until you reach your desired consistency. 
  8. Stir in the mint and lemon zest, and then taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

  1. When your potatoes are ready, take them out of the oven. Let cool for a minute or two, then open one corner of the tin foil and carefully pour the water out of the pan.
  2. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and pour over ⅓ cup olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with some chili flakes. 
  3.  Using a large wooden spoon, mix up the potatoes with the oil and seasonings. Stir rapidly until a layer of potato mush develops on the outside of each potato. Careful not to fully mash the potatoes, they should still be in individual chunks. Add more oil if needed. 
  4. Return the potatoes to the baking sheet (make sure it’s dry). Roast at 450 for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a thin metal spatula to flip the potatoes. Cook until very crispy and brown, another 15-30 minutes. Don’t be afraid to really take the potatoes there. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. 
  5. Spread a thin layer of creme fraiche along the bottom of a serving platter. 
  6. Top with the potatoes and pea pesto and enjoy.