Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, roast potatoes are a universal favourite. Olive oil imparts a wonderful flavour and excellent crunch to roast spuds, but it isn’t the obvious choice to everyone, but fear not! We’re here to guide you.
Can you roast potatoes with olive oil?
Absolutely! Olive oil enhances the exterior crispiness of roast potatoes while lending them a rich, aromatic taste.
Is there a better oil for roasting potatoes?
While many swear by duck or goose fat for the crispiest roast potatoes, olive oil is a fantastic plant-based alternative that offers a different but equally tempting flavour profile.
Different olive oils have unique flavour profiles to experiment with. Olive oils from France tend to be buttery with notes of almond and artichoke. Olive oils from Italy tend to be a deep, vibrant green with herbal and peppery undertones.
Greek olive oil is fragrant and fruity. Or you can play with infused oils to create a shortcut to fuller flavour. Oils with high smoke points, like rapeseed or sunflower oil, are also popular choices.
Is regular or extra virgin olive oil better for roasting?
Regular olive oil, due to its higher smoke point, is better suited for roasting at high temperatures.
Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and may impart a slightly bitter taste when exposed to high heat.
However, you can drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the potatoes once they're cooked for an added burst of flavour.
Alternatives to olive oil for roast potatoes:
Goose or duck fat for an indulgent, traditional roast.
Rapeseed oil for a neutral-tasting, crispy result.
Sunflower oil for a light, universally appealing taste.
Coconut oil for a slightly sweet and unique twist.
How to roast potatoes with olive oil:
Ingredients for roast potatoes with olive oil
- 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into even chunks
- 4 tbsp regular olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Method for roast potatoes with olive oil
- Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (400°F, Gas Mark 6).
- Parboil the Potatoes: In a large pot of salted water, bring the potato chunks to a rolling boil. Reduce the temperature slightly and leave to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until they're slightly softened, but not cooked-through. Drain thoroughly in a colander.
- Roughen the Edges: Once drained, return the potatoes to the pot. Place the lid on and give them a few gentle shakes. This will roughen up their surfaces, ensuring maximum crispiness when roasted.
- Coat in Olive Oil: Add the olive oil to the pan, replace the lid and shake again so that all the potatoes are well-coated in oil. Tip the potatoes out on to a large baking tray, along with any residual oil from the pan and spread them out to ensure they have plenty of space. Season generously with sea salt flakes, plus ground black pepper if you like.
- Roast: Transfer the baking tray to the preheated oven and roast the potatoes for about 45-55 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
- Serve: Once golden and crispy, remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Flavour variations for roast potatoes:
- Rosemary: Sprinkle finely chopped fresh rosemary over the potatoes at the same time as the sea salt flakes before roasting.
- Lemon Peel: Add thin strips of lemon peel to the baking tray for a citrusy twist.
- Garlic Infusion: Scatter whole garlic cloves, tossed in oil, around the tray before cooking.
- Spicy Kick: Toss the potatoes in a mix of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper before roasting.
- Parmesan: 10 minutes before they're done, sprinkle grated Parmesan over the potatoes for a cheesy crunch.
- Fresh Herbs: Combine chopped parsley, thyme, and oregano, and sprinkle over potatoes before roasting for a fresh-tasting, herbal twist.
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