Greek Lemon Potatoes

Many, many, many years ago, my now-husband and I went to Greece.  I have a lot of wonderful memories from that trip and, of course, some of them revolve around the simple, healthy, amazingly delicious meals we had.  We discovered gigantes, stuffed tomatoes…of course we ate a lot of Greek salad and almost every meal included these lemony, garlicky, absolutely delicious potatoes.

That trip to Greece actually inspires much of my cooking to this day.  Fresh, local produce was the center of every meal.  It was simple, well-prepared, and nourishing in every way.  The ambiance didn’t hurt either.

Since I just got a big bag of fresh, local potatoes at the Farmers’ Market, I was inspired to give this recipe a try for a 4th of July gathering.  I enjoyed the leftovers so much that I thought I should share it with you.  These potatoes do require cooking, of course, but I like to make a big batch and then eat leftovers cold with bean salads and the like.  In Greece, I imagine these are slow-cooked in Earthenware pots in the oven, but I am going to suggest using a crock pot because I know you are all out working and/or playing all day.  Plus I don’t think it heats the kitchen nearly as much.

  • 2 lbs potatoes, washed and cut into wedges or bite-sized pieces (no need to peel!)
  • enough olive oil to generously coat the potatoes, maybe about 1/4 up
  • 3 garlic scapes, sliced (or the equivalent in green garlic or garlic cloves)
  • sea salt
  • 1 whole organic lemon, washed
  • 1 bunch of parsley

Put the potatoes in the crock pot and stir the olive oil in with them so they are well-coated.  Stir in the garlic scapes and sprinkle liberally with salt.  With a paring knife, peel the yellow part of the lemon rind off.  It’s fine to get a bit of the white part with it, but not too much or it will taste bitter.  Julienne (cut in thin strips) the lemon peel and stir about 1/2 into the potatoes.  Reserve the other half in a sealed jar for adding at the end.  Juice the lemon and stir the juice into the potatoes.  Trim a few inches of the parsley stems, then start chopping them from the stem side until you reach the part that’s mostly leafy.  Reserve this part for later and add the stemmy-leaves to the potatoes.  Cover and cook on low for several hours until the potatoes are very soft and have started to brown.  Chop the remaining parsley leaves and stir them into the potatoes, along with the remaining lemon rind.  Season to taste.

You can also add some cooked beans toward the end of cooking, throw in some chopped spinach or beet greens, serve with hard boiled eggs for breakfast, add some chopped red onion for a more traditional potato salad, etc, etc.  Enjoy!

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