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.
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
- Preheat the oven to 450
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a small mortar and pestle, smash ½ a clove of garlic with some salt until it forms a smooth paste.
- 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.
- Add the pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan and continue to mash until you reach your desired consistency.
- Stir in the mint and lemon zest, and then taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- 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.
- Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and pour over ⅓ cup olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with some chili flakes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spread a thin layer of creme fraiche along the bottom of a serving platter.
- Top with the potatoes and pea pesto and enjoy.