My mother is all business and no nonsense. She is the master of multi-tasking and the model of efficiency. She doesn’t spend hours slaving over a hot stove. Her kitchen philosophy has always been “put it in the oven at 350 degrees and forget it.”
And by “forget it,” she means, “use that time to do the laundry, clean the house, and catch up on paperwork.” My mother gets things done, and she’s a wonderful cook.
When I was little, she’d keep us organized with a weekly dinner schedule. Roast chicken on Mondays, fish on Fridays. Saturday night was always steak and potatoes, and those potatoes were usually roasted in the oven or boiled with lemon and chopped parsley. I’m not sure why she never combined the two, but I wish she had. Roasted potatoes gremolata (or, roasted potatoes with chopped parsley, lemon and garlic) are absolutely amazing.
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):
- One pound of potatoes (about 2 cups)
- 2 lemons (peels only)
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Make the potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes and spread onto a cookie sheet. Toss with one to two tablespoons of olive oil and almost all of the salt and roast in the oven until brown and crispy, about half an hour to forty-five minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, make the gremolata. The secret is to chop everything finely and let the ingredients sit so that the flavors meld together. A mini food processor makes this easy, but if you don’t have one, a sharp knife is just as good. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peels from the lemons. To cut the leaves off the parsley, hold the stems in one hand so that the leaves are on your cutting board and run your knife along the diagonal. Chop the parsley, lemon peel and garlic until very fine and then add the remaining olive oil and salt. Once combined, let sit in a bowl for at least half an hour.
When the potatoes are done, add them to the gremolata and stir to combine. Try not to eat them straight from the bowl.