From Batman and Robin to Hans Solo and Chewbacca, every good sidekick is one who goes the extra mile to be a star in their own right.
It’s no different with food, and I’m a great believer in making sure every component in a meal plays a leading role in creating the full picture.
Side dishes shouldn’t just be regarded as a plate filler or a mere companion to the star attraction. They should strike the right balance between complementing the flavours and texture of the main event, yet still taste sensational in their own right.
Potatoes are perhaps the most versatile ingredients for creating side dishes, and I love them in all forms – mashed, roasted, sautéed, baked. I’m not alone – when it comes to appealing to the masses, there’s not a lot of people who would turn down a helping of hot, creamy, buttery mash.
It doesn’t take a lot to create something special from the humble spud and it’s a vegetable that lends itself well to a bit of experimentation.
For me, one of the best examples of a side dish just vying to snatch the limelight has got to be roast potatoes. Done properly – with ragged, crisp edges and soft, fluffy insides – this is an accompaniment that is most definitely a megastar in its own right.
One of my favourite ways to serve them in with harissa, and this easy quick and easy recipe is great for mid-week dining and goes especially well with chicken.
Roast Potatoes with Harissa and Coriander
|Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and quartered||1.5kg|
|best quality olive oil||1.5 tbsp|
|finest harissa paste||2tsp|
- Cook potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender before draining well.
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Place the oil and butter in a large roasting pan. Stick in the oven for 3 minutes or until the butter melts.
- Lightly bash the potatoes with a fork or masher and add to pan, tossing them to coat in the buttery oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until the potatoes start to turn golden.
- Once the edges are crisped, gently stir in the harrisa to glaze.
- Pile them onto a serving plate and scatter with coriander.