Roasted Potatoes with Orange, Mustard, and Garlic
My mother's variation on the classic Greek lemon-oregano potatoes that traditionally accompany roasted meat and poultry.
PHOTO Penny de Los Santos from my Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
As with many of the new dishes my mother added to her repertoire, this dish entered our house via an acquaintance at the hairdresser's salon – a place of serious culinary exchange and business in Greece. My mother first made the ‘hairdresser’s potatoes’ in the late '70s for Christmas lunch – they were an instant hit.
I always preferred these potatoes to the main dish! I make them somewhat spicier with the addition of red pepper, cumin, and turmeric, often mixing them with fruit or other root vegetables (see variation).
For a Vegetarian main serve the potatoes with a green salad, feta or any kind of sharp, aged cheese. Accompany with slices of grilled Halloumi to create a really festive dish.
Serves 4 to 6
2/3 cup olive oil
4-6 minced garlic cloves, to taste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano or thyme, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
2 teaspoons Maraş pepper or a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (plenty of freshly ground black pepper will also suffice)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 - 1 cup fresh orange juice, as needed
3 pounds halved fingerling potatoes, or any baking potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 oranges, washed, halved, each piece cut into thick slices
3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano and/or 5 thyme sprigs
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, garlic, mustard, dried oregano or thyme, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of orange juice. Pulse to get a thick sauce.
Place the potatoes and orange slices in a single layer in a 13-by-9 inch baking dish and pour the sauce over them. Toss well with two spatulas to coat the pieces generously with the sauce.
Cover loosely with a piece of parchment paper and bake in the lower part of the oven for 40 minutes. Take out of the oven, uncover and toss. The potatoes should be bubbly and pierce easily with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the pan is dry add a bit more orange juice and toss.
Bake uncovered, for 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through with nicely browned edges.
If the potatoes are fully cooked but lack color, place the pan under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with fresh oregano or add fresh oregano or thyme sprigs. Serve at once.
Roasted Root Vegetables and Quince with Garlic, Orange and Mustard
Substitute a few potatoes with a couple of large carrots and/or parsnips. Cut the carrots in 1 ½-inch slices. Halve or quarter 2-3 turnips, depending on their size – the pieces should all be consistent in size with the potatoes. If available, add 1-2 quinces. Halve each quince horizontally and then quarter and core (but keep the skin). I find that the firm-fleshed, tart fruit complements beautifully the sweet medley of root vegetables.