These crispy-crunchy potatoes are boiled then smashed flat and roasted. To me, they represent the very best of home-cooking: take a simple, everyday ingredient, and spin it into something new and super-delicious. It doesn't seem to matter what sort of potatoes you use, either.
Back-story: I first came up with these back in the 1990s! The recipe has since gone around the world, and everybody does something different to them, from Recipe Tin Eats to America's Rachael Ray. That's what a great recipe can do – take on a life of its own. But it always finds its way home.
- 12 to 16 small potatoes, unpeeled
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt, half tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme (or rosemary) sprigs
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just cooked when tested with a skewer – about 15 minutes. Drain well, and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Heat the oven to 210C fan-forced (230C conventional). Use a potato masher, the heel of your hand, or the bottom of a water glass, to squash each potato flat – don't worry if it breaks up a bit, that only means more crisp bits at the end. Brush the tops with olive oil, add a little butter to each one (optional), and scatter with sea salt, pepper, oregano and thyme sprigs.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until super-crisp and golden, a bit scorchy at the edges, and serve hot.
Serves 4 as a side