Lemony roasted potatoes for your Easter lamb

When I was a teenager I spent most of my Easter holidays travelling with my parents and siblings all over regional Queensland to compete in the Queensland Eisteddfod. My parents sang in a large and very good amateur choir, and the competition was always fierce, but good spirited. They also had strong connections within two of the other major choirs, which were from their home town of Ipswich, so there was much socialising and laughter amid the competition. But as a result, our Easter fare was very much what could be managed in a motel kitchenette, and snatched between the competition sessions.When my parents retired, and dad’s health prevented him from singing or travelling, I started making an Easter Sunday lunch as a new tradition, which lasted until my own family began camping over Easter with a group of friends from our church. I am thinking of reviving the Easter Sunday lunch this year and these potatoes will be contenders for the menu. They are crispy, and lemony, and with the zing of dried and fresh herbs and a dash of chilli. The lemon slices turn almost jammy and are fantastically sweet and sour. For those of you who are eagerly anticipating the coming of spring, and for those of you who are looking forward to cooler weather of autumn, these potatoes work well with meat or fish cooked to suit your season. For me, it will be seven hour lamb.

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Serves 4 – 6

1 kg smallish potatoes, skins on (I prefer Desiree for their blushing pink skins),and cut lengthwise in half and then in half again to create wedges
2 medium sized lemons
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 185 C. Line a shallow baking tray with silicon paper. In a medium sized bowl combine the juice of 1 lemon, the unpeeled garlic, dried oregano and mint, chilli flakes, salt, olive oil and potatoes and, using your hands, mix until the potatoes are all coated with the mixture. NB. If you have a cut on your finger, as I did, get someone else to do this to save you from some stinging action! Cut the remaining lemon into 5 mm slices. Place the potato mixture on the tray in a single layer and put the lemon slices in among the potatoes. Cook for about 1 hour in the oven, until the potatoes are crispy and cooked through and the lemon one step away from burning. You might like to turn the potatoes a couple of times during the cooking to enhance their crispiness. Season with a little more salt, if needed, and a good grind of black pepper. Serve hot from the oven or at room temperature.

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