This is one of those crazy little recipes that once tried, is immediately incorporated into your own repertoire. It’s what you want when you want a crisp, roast potato, only better. And all you have to do is boil some small potatoes, smash them flat and blast them in a hot oven until they are terminally crisp. Serve with aubergine and lamb, pan-fried fish, grilled sausages, or even on their own, with drinks.
Heat the oven to 250°C/Gas 9. Don’t peel the potatoes. Just bung them into a pot of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes, until they’ll take a skewer without too much resistance. They should be just about cooked, without being soft.
Drain the potatoes and arrange on a lightly oiled baking tray. Use a potato masher to squash each potato flat, until it is twice its original diameter. Brush the tops with olive oil, and scatter with sea salt, black pepper, fennel seeds and thyme sprigs.
Bake the potatoes on the top shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve hot.
© 2002 Jill Dupleix. All rights reserved.