Crispy potato leaves

I tried these at Christmas – they’re a recipe in The Times mag, by Donna Hay. Australians and Kiwis (I am half kiwi) have brilliant food magazines and recipe books. Or, I’ve been brainwashed by my Mum to believe that they do. Whatever happens, these were very impressive and delicious. I didn’t bother with the duck fat in the original recipe, I drizzled olive oil all over them instead and it worked very well, and presumably made a slightly lighter dish. They’d go fantastically well with any meat dish and look very impressive – until you take them out of the dish, so definitely do them in a beautiful baking tray which can be put directly onto the table.


Crispy leaf potatoes with oregano salt. Photographed by Anson Smart

They’re so beautiful! You can upscale/downscale them as you wish, but the starting point is as follows:

5.5kg large starchy potatoes, peeled
Olive oil to drizzle/spray over
Large quantities of Maldon sea salt/fleur de sel
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Handful of oregano leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Any higher and the edges will burn before the potatoes are cooked.

2. The original recipe says to trim the edges of each potato to make large rectangles (which I did), and slice thinly on a mandolin (which I did not. I used a food processor because I had neither the time nor the inclination to slice 5.5kg of potatoes by hand).

3. Put your potato slices in a large bowl and pour a load of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt over them and mix well together. It’s always best to get stuck in there with your hands because they’re better than any kitchen tools.

4. Working in batches, arrange the potatoes upright from one side to the other in a 37x24cm baking tray (obviously if you’re halving the recipe you’ll need a smaller tray. Basically, use whatever size of tray you have and add potatoes until it’s full, then stop. Potatoes are hardly expensive if you end up throwing a couple of fervently sliced ones away).

5. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, golden and crisp. I started checking them after about 45 minutes because it sounded like such a ludicrously long cooking time and I’m glad I did because otherwise they’d be burnt. I happen to love burnt food, but most people rightly do not.