Patates Riganates – Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon and Oregano

Adapted from Foods of the Greek Islands (Houghton Mifflin)

Few people can resist these potatoes, which are capable of stealing the show from any food they accompany, even from the lamb —so make sure you have plenty for seconds. Although it is served all over Greece, this dish is particularly good on islands like Naxos, or here on Kea, where the local potatoes have exceptional flavor.

Potatoes-Baked-e_430

On the special days when a leg of lamb or a chicken is roasted, the potatoes may also be cooked in its juices. If you want to cook this dish using small potatoes there is no need to peel them, but I suggest that you halve them, because they taste best when they can absorb the sauce.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper, or Aleppo pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or white wine
1/4 -1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt, cumin, mustard and pepper to taste and toss very well to coat with the oil.

Alternatively, you can work all the above ingredients in the blender and make a paste, then toss the potatoes to coat all over.

Bake the potatoes for 25 minutes. Add the stock, toss well and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss again and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh oregano and serve at once.

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