Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Smashed Lemon Potatoes

Side dishes can make a good meal great. They are the supporting actors to a well-prepared  piece of meat, which, if performing well, can hog the spotlight. But paying attention to what best supports the star can turn a meal from B-grade to award winning.

It’s that time of year when side dishes become more than an after thought. Thanksgiving and Christmas provide a great excuse to focus on all parts of the meal. If you’ve already started thinking about your festive menus, I highly recommend including a plate of Smashed Lemon Potatoes.

Smashed Lemon Potatoes

Roast potatoes are always a winner. On Christmas Day, the first things on my plate are a pile of roast potatoes and as much pork crackling as I can take without offending anyone. I like crispy things out of the oven. This version of roast potatoes by celebrated food writer Ruth Reichl ensures maximum crispiness, a soft, creamy centre and a twist of lemon to keep things interesting.

Baby potatoes are first par-boiled in a bath of chicken stock, garlic and lemon zest. This softens them up ready to be flattened by a rolling pin or base of a saucepan, exposing more surface area to the heat of the oven. The lemon zest makes the journey from the stock to the oven with the potatoes, and releases its oils while also crisping up.

When you pull the tray out of the oven, you have a golden landscape of potatoes, with valleys and hills that provide different and flavoursome textures. The roasted lemon zest camouflages itself amongst the potatoes, and provides a surprise burst of citrus when it reaches the eaters mouth. A sprinkle of sea salt and a generous grating of parmesan adds another layer of flavour to the transformed potatoes.

Serving them alongside a roast, or a juicy piece of steak, would be ideal. When I made them this week I couldn’t resist scooping a rather generous serve into a bowl and topping it with a parsley, capers and lemon oil, which provided a pleasingly bright contrast to the creaminess of the potatoes. That was a winning lunch.

These potatoes may steal the show at your festive feast, so it’s probably best to make a double batch.

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Smashed Lemon Potatoes

Smashed Lemon Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 900g (2 pounds) baby potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Zest of 1 lemon (in thick strips)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Parmesan, for grating


Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.

Put the potatoes in a wide-based saucepan, add chicken stock, lemon zest and garlic (the stock may not cover the potatoes fully, that’s OK). Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes, picking out the lemon zest and saving it for later.

Oil an oven tray generously. Gently flatten each potato. I found the best method was to flatten them on a chopping board using the base of a small saucepan, but you could use the side of a chef’s knife or a rolling pin. Flattening them on the oven tray is possible, but the oil makes the surface slippery and the potatoes tend to dart around the tray when you try to flatten them.

With the smashed potatoes on the oven tray, drizzle them with olive oil and lay the reserved lemon zest in between the potatoes. Roast for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp, golden and irresistible.

Sprinkle with sea salt and finely grate parmesan over the top.

Recipe by Ruth Reichl

Other side dishes on Simple Provisions:

40 thoughts on “Smashed Lemon Potatoes

  1. ForageHappy says:

    Potatoes are fantastic this time of year, so comforting. This recipe looks fresh and hearty, thank you for sharing!

    1. Amelia says:

      You’re welcome!

  2. Yum. I will definitely be trying this soon!

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you love them Priscilla.

  3. This looks delicious!!!

  4. KerryCan says:

    Wow–who needs a main course?!

    1. Amelia says:

      That’s what I thought on Sunday when I ATE THEM ALL!

  5. bec {daisy and the fox} says:

    yum!! i’m like you and loooove a good lot of potatoes – and in this rainy weather we are having i think it’s prime time to whip these bad boys up! :)

    1. Amelia says:

      Yes, rain and roast potatoes are a perfect pair.

  6. Lyn Mullins says:

    How do I print the recipe only? Sounds delicious

    1. Amelia says:

      Unfortunately I haven’t yet worked out how to make the template only print the recipe instead of the full page, sorry Lyn. Copying and pasting the recipe into an email or word document would work, but is not very user friendly. I’m working on it!

  7. Leah says:

    These look fantastic and delicious too. great photo’s :-)

  8. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Amelia, this looks lip-smashing. I love smashed potatoes, but these are a cut above mine. Cooking the spuds in chicken stock first must add the biggest flavour wallop; not to mention those thick strips of lemon zest curling themselves invitingly around all that crispy goodness. YUMMO. Oh, and the pork crackling/roast potato combo – definitely with you there. A marriage made in heaven!

  9. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Gah. Excuse the typo! Lip-smacking, not lip-smashing; although in the context of this post, lip-smashing is rather appropriate!!

    1. Amelia says:

      I definitely smashed them into my lips when I ate the *entire tray* (bar 3-4 spuds) of these on Sunday…

  10. Michelle says:

    I’ve made something sorta like this before, and it was wonderful. Can’t wait to try your version!

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy them Michelle.

  11. misha says:

    i’ve got some yuzu laying around my house, and they are nearing the end. i think i have just discovered a use for them.

    thanks, amelia.

    1. Amelia says:

      Oh wow Misha – yuzu would be great! How interesting.

  12. Yum – smashed potatoes are a winner in our house. We often mix with roasted garlic too but I like the idea of lemons to freshen things up:)

    1. Amelia says:

      Garlic is a classic for sure. You could include the garlic cloves that were in the chicken stock on the roasting tray to add that extra dose of flavour.

  13. chardrap says:

    They look fab! Think these will go perfect with our salmon tonight thanks!

    1. Amelia says:

      Yum! Yes they would! Enjoy.

  14. Amy says:

    Oh thank you! These are perfect for a dinner I am hosting next weekend – the first meeting of my parents and his parents!!! Need to impress, especially since I have enjoyed his Dad’s cooking so many times :)
    Also, my family is the same on Christmas Eve (when we celebrate because we’re Danish) – all the potatoes and crackling are the first things to go :)

    1. Amelia says:

      Exciting! Good luck with the in-laws :)

  15. Gorgeous! And how can you go wrong with potatoes and lemon? Seriously. You can’t.

  16. pinkteaparty says:

    what model camera do you use – your pictures are stunning! they remind me of Donna Hay Magazine (my favourite!).

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you! I use a Canon EOS REBEL T2i, which is an entry-level DSLR camera. I’m self-taught and learning as I go, inspired by the likes of Donna.

  17. Oh boy. why even make a main dish? I’m making these this Saturday for company, super excited!

  18. Linda says:

    These potatoes are absolutely delicious. I cheated a but because I was short of time and just browned them under a hot grill. I will try the full roast next time and expect they will be even more heavenly. Thank you for such a simple but wonderful recipe

    1. Amelia says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them Linda, and that they work under the grill, good to know!

  19. edenmarket says:

    Reblogged this on Eden Market Catering & Personal Chef Co. and commented:
    I must need carbs, because when I saw these potatoes my mouth started watering! Of course it helps that lemon is mentioned as a main ingredient, check out this yummy recipe and my #allthingslemon file!!

  20. Sandy says:

    I’m cooking now can’t wait, but they taste so good so far! !

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy them Sandy

  21. Christian says:

    Just wiped out any positive health gains of cycling 18 miles this weekend by eating a pound of potatoes I had prepared using this recipe — too good. Thanks.

    1. Amelia says:

      Haha – my specialty is wiping out any positive exercise gains with carbs and oil ;)

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