Here’s a quick, easy, and delicious way of spicing up potatoes, especially if you’ve got some going spare and you don’t know what to do with them. These are fine as a snack on their own or as part of a larger meal.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 26½ ounces / 750g new potatoes
- 2 ounces / 60g Parmesan, finely grated
- ½ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) / 390°F (350°F fan).
Cut the potatoes in half and then toss in the oil with some seasoning.
Place on a wire rack over a baking tray in the oven for 35 minutes until starting to brown (see Tips below).
Remove from the oven and toss in a bowl with the parmesan and chilli flakes before returning to the oven (still on the rack) for a final 12 minute burst.
If you place the potatoes skins side down on the wire rack (so the cut side isn’t touching the rack) they’ll be less likely to stick.
In the 18th century, the French believed that potatoes caused leprosy. But the noted agronomist, Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, used reverse psychology to convince people they were safe. He posted guards around the potato fields during the day to stop people from stealing them. So, of course, the people now wanted them. He instructed the guards to accept bribes to turn a blind eye so that people could steal them. His other publicity stunts included giving bouquets of potato flowers to the Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette, and serving potatoes at dinner to guests such as Benjamin Franklin.