Side dishes rock, and with Memorial day approaching I thought I’d share a side dish I made this Easter : )
Let’s jump right in!
- 2 pounds yukon or red potatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- less than 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons freshly chopped (de-stemmed!) thyme
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel 2 pounds of yukon or red potatoes with a vegetable peeler. It takes a little while, so rope someone into helping or listen to some music while you’re at it. I used red potatoes. I bought a 5 pound bag and didn’t have a kitchen scale to weight the potatoes with. So I eyeballed it. No biggie – the recipe turned out fine so I’d encourage you to do the same and not worry about it too much. Just a warning: they look much smaller in photos than in real life. When I was prepping my potatoes I was worried I’d already messed up the recipe by getting the wrong kind 😛
Coat the potatoes in the olive oil. You can use a little basting brush and do them individually, or put them all in a large pot and toss them in the oil. I chose the latter option – because it seemed faster and easier – but it turned out to be a bit cumbersome anyway. Haha! So do what you feel comfortable with.
Place them on a baking sheet with foil and make sure they all have some personal space. Bake at 450 for approximately 40-45 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes to let them brown on the other side. I would suggest checking the potatoes at 35 minutes and adjusting the bake time based on how the potatoes are progressing. Be sure you don’t burn ’em!
While you’re waiting, squeeze the lemon and bust out the thyme. I had never use fresh thyme before, so I was a little confused about the wording of the recipe. If you have never seen fresh thyme either, the herb consists of tiny leaves attached to long stems. Do you chop the thicker stems and toss them in with the potatoes? Or do you de-stem them and use the leaves and the much more modest amount of stemmy bits that naturally come with the leaves? Once again, I decided to do the latter. In this case, it was a good choice. The larger stems would have been awkward to chew on.
The easiest way to de-stem thyme is to run your fingers along the stem in the opposite direction the leave are leaning. A tedious but awesome smelling task.
Once baked, move the potatoes to a large metal pot. Pour the lemon juice over the potatoes. The recipe I used called for too much lemon juice (1/4 cup), but being the experienced chef of the household, Josh warned me not to use all of it. (Yay Josh!) Toss the thyme, salt, and pepper in, mix, and cover for at least 15 minutes before eating! The potatoes get better the longer you allow them to absorb the lemon juice and seasoning. Drool … Let me know if you try this recipe and how it worked out for you!