Perfect your roasted potato game
Roasted Potatoes and Fennel with Shallots and Lemon makes a perfect side for a cold winter night when you want some comfort but also crave something a little bit different. I love roasted fennel for its sweetness, and when you roast lemons, magic happens. The real secret to getting this dish delicious, though, comes from a simple technique to create perfect roasted potatoes.
Beautiful, sad potatoes
Have you ever bit into an absolutely stunning roasted potato, golden brown, crispy on the edges, perhaps with some rosemary and sea salt, only to find that, as beautiful as it appears, your poor potato tastes sad? I have. I’ve made those potatoes, too. It’s frustrating. They look so perfect and taste like nothing.
There’s a reason for that
There’s a reason why roasted potatoes often taste bland. It’s because they weren’t parboiled first to get some flavor into them. If you don’t parboil them, the salt and fat you use won’t permeate the crust, and they won’t get soft on the inside before the crust burns. It’s an extra step, but it’s easy, and it doesn’t take too long.
What is parboiling and why should I take the time?
Parboiling involves partially boiling, but not finishing the process. To parboil potatoes, you simply bring a pot of potatoes in salted water to a boil (starting the potatoes in cold water lets them soak up more of the salt). Once the water is boiling cook for about five minutes or when a fork can go about halfway through the potatoes. Then drain them in a colander and shake them to rough up the exterior (and dry them out).
Once parboiled and drained, your potatoes are ready for roasting. You will thank yourself for taking those few extra minutes when you bite into a flavorful, perfect roasted potato.
Easy and delicious Roasted Potatoes and Fennel with Shallots and Lemon
Think of Roasted Potatoes and Fennel with Shallots and Lemon like an easy hike with a killer view. If you can chop, boil, and stick something in the oven, you have a perfect side dish. While your potatoes parboil, chop the fennel (reserve the leaves for a flavorful garnish), shallots, and a lemon (use a little less if you want a less intense lemon flavor). Once ready, add everything to a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and combine.
Roast while you make the rest of your dinner. In about 45 minutes you’ll have a perfect side dish. Garnish with roughly chopped fennel leaves and serve.
You’ll never settle for sad potatoes again.
Recipe and video below.
Roasted Potatoes and Fennel with Shallots and Lemon
- 2 waxy potatoes, cut into wedges peeling optional
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges, reserve the leaves for garnish
- 1 large shallot, cut into wedges
- 1 lemon, cut into half-moons if you want a less intense lemon flavor, you could use half a lemon
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425
Parboiling the potatoes
- Add the potatoes to a pot, cover them with water, and salt generously. Bring to a boil and then cook for about five minutes or so until you can insert a fork into the potatoes but get resistance
- Drain into a colander and then shake them vigorously to rough them up a bit (this will help them to get crispier as they roast)
- Add all the ingredients to foil lined baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, salt generously, and then toss to coat
- Roast for 20 minutes, and flip. Continue to roast, checking again after 15 minutes, stirring if necessary, until everything is golden and some pieces have charred. Total time should be about 45 minutes, but this will depend on your oven and the size of the pieces
- Garnish with chopped fennel leaves