Every month I receive a box of plump and fragrant lemons from my father (and even occasionally from my good friend Kristy) who lives in Southern California. He has an enormous lemon tree in his backyard, which tirelessly produces a massive crop every year.
Every time I open that box I marvel: The scent of a fresh lemon is so floral, its zest so tangy, and its juice so tingly. A lemon enlivens everything you cook with it. This little fruit has so much to offer and so much to give that I don't waste a drop of its juice or an inch of its skin.
With all these marvelous attributes, it's not surprising what a single lemon can do for a dish. Aside from using my father's lemons in vinaigrettes, sauces, cocktails, and desserts, I also like to roast them with baby red potatoes. Their transformative power on the humble tubers is remarkable. Add garlic and bay leaves and the roasted potatoes become tangy, earthy, and just succulent.
See all potato recipes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the potatoes, garlic, lemon slices, and bay leaves in a nonstick roasting pan large enough to hold the ingredients in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the potatoes are tender, for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil. Toss the potatoes again. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, tossing once, for 20-25 more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.