Fresh lemons – a cherished, essential ingredient
Lemons are, after olive oil and garlic, my most cherished and essential ingredient. I simply cannot cook without them and I always, always have some on hand. For most of the year, in fact, I don’t even have to go to the market to get lemons. I’m blessed to have an enormous lemon tree in my backyard, which tirelessly produces a massive crop.
Every time I cut through a just-picked lemon, I’m captivated again: the scent of a fresh lemon is so floral, its zest so tangy and its juice so tingly. A lemon enlivens everything you cook with it. This little fruit has so much to offer and so much to give that I don’t waste a drop of its juice or an inch of its skin.
Roasted lemon slices transform these easy roasted potatoes into a superb side dish
With all these marvelous attributes, it’s not surprising what a single lemon can do for a dish. Aside from using lemons in vinaigrettes, sauces, cocktails and desserts, I also like to roast them with baby red potatoes. Their transformative power on the humble tubers is remarkable. Add garlic and bay leaves and the roasted potatoes become tangy, earthy and just succulent.
The versatility and deliciousness of lemons is truly something to be grateful for.
Roasted baby red potatoes with lemon and bay leaves
active time: 15 min
- 2 1/4 lbs (1 kg) baby Red Bliss potatoes – unpeeled and cut in 1/2″ wedges
- 6 large garlic cloves – unpeeled
- 1 lemon – cut crosswise in 1/4″ slices
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (232ºC).
- Place the potatoes, garlic, lemon slices and bay leaves in the roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well and spread in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove foil. Toss the potatoes again. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for 20 to 25 additional minutes, until the potatoes are golden-brown, tossing once. Remove from heat and serve immediately.