Monday, 4 June 2018

Lebanese Spicy Roasted Potatoes (Batata Harra)

Here's another one that we ate at a restaurant and then went home and made it for ourselves because it was so good. It's roasted potatoes (restaurants are probably just as likely to fry them) tossed in a spicy garlic-cilantro dressing with lemon, kind of like gremolata gone wild. 

I used about a quarter cup of cilantro in this because that was how much I could scrounge up out of the garden, but I'm pretty sure I would have liked twice as much. On the other hand I'm sure lots of people would say it was just right. You should put in however much seems right to you, and the same as usual with the hot pepper. 

The available potatoes are getting a bit tired but I liked this enough that I may go out and buy some more anyway, at least if it gets cool enough again that I can stand to have the oven on.

4 servings

Lebanese Spicy Roasted Potatoes (Batata Harra)

Roast the Potatoes:
1 kilogram (2 pounds) baking potatoes
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and trim the potatoes - peel them if you like - and cut them into largish bite-sized chunks. Put them into a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. 

Toss them in a shallow roasting pan - I used my 9" x 13" lasagne pan - with the oil, salt, paprika, and pepper.  Spread them out in a single layer. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes until lightly browned. Stir them once in the middle of the process.

Toss them with the Garlic & Herbs:
4 to 6 cloves of garlic
the finely grated zest of 1/2 a large lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper, or to taste
the juice of 1/2 a large lemon

About 10 minutes before the potatoes are ready, peel and finely mince the garlic. Wash and dry the lemon, and grate the zest finely. Mix it with the garlic and set aside.

Wash, dry, and  finely chop the cilantro.

A couple of minutes before the potatoes are ready heat the oil in a small skillet, over medium heat. Cook the garlic and lemon zest until just barely golden. Remove from the heat and mix in the Aleppo pepper and the lemon juice.

When the potatoes come out of the oven, immediately stir in the cilantro, mixing it in well until it is completely wilted. Mix in the garlic-lemon mixture, stirring well until the lemon juice is completely absorbed. Serve at once.

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