These are a glorious treat to put on any table – and step back to hear the ‘oooo!’ and ‘aaah!’ – perfect with a roast or simply with grilled meats or fish. You’ll need a food processor and a large baking sheet. Serves 4.
for the potatoes
- 650-700g new potatoes
- 20ml olive oil
for the pesto
- 2 handfuls of basil
- 1 handful of pine nuts (optional: toasted)
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1 handful of freshly grated parmesan
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- squeeze of lemon (optional)
Get a pan of salted water on the boil, rinse your new potatoes (the best ones come with a little dirt on them!) and pop them in the pot. When it comes back to the boil turn to a medium heat and let them cook – it’ll be about 15-20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
When your potatoes are cooked (a knife comes out smoothly), quickly drain them. Then return to the pot on the hob – gentle shuffle the pan, this will help get some of the residual moisture off.
Spread the potatoes out over a large baking sheet – and here comes the fun part: crushing. There are two ways to crush the potatoes: 1. Get a spoon and use the back to crack each one individually; 2. use the bottom of the saucepan and get it down in a couple of seconds.
Crush some sea salt flakes over the potatoes, add a few turns of black pepper, then drizzle with about 1 or so tbsp of olive oil. Pop them in the top of the oven and roast for 20 minutes (or so) until they are beautifully golden and crispy.
Whilst the potatoes are roasting, make your pesto. Into your food processor put the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, oil and salt and pepper. Blitz a little to break the pine nuts down a bit, then add the basil. Pulse until you get a paste. I add in a tablespoon or two of water as well, just to make it easier to pour.
Take them out of the oven and transfer to a serving dish (or just serve on the tray, these are about flavour, not pleasantries!), drizzle over your potatoes and you’ll have a killer dish of pesto roast potatoes.
Best served immediately – scatter with torn basil, pine nuts and lemon wedges, if you’re feeling fancy.