A gorgeous garlicky dish of potatoes and capsicums
Although I’ve given quantities below, this is one of those recipes that you can do more by feel than measure. Add more onion or garlic, if you like; more or less potato and capsicum; use different herbs – the only thing that is essential is a really good glug of fruity olive oil. (Occasionally, for a treat, I serve this with a bowl of homemade garlic and saffron mayonnaise to dollop over the top…it’s delicious!)
1 kg potatoes (waxy potatoes such as Dutch Cream or Nicola are particularly good), thoroughly washed
1 large red capsicum
1 large yellow capsicum
2 – 3 onions (red onions are lovely), peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 – 3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
Leaves from half a dozen thyme sprigs, plus an extra few sprigs
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika, or more to taste
Sit the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover them by a good 10 cm or so. Salt the water and bring it to the boil over high heat, then adjust the heat so the water bubbles steadily and cook the potatoes for 20 minutes. Drain them, and as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, peel away the skins, and cut them into largish bite-sized chunks. Put the chunks into a large bowl.
Preheat your oven to 220C, and line a large baking tray with foil then baking paper.
Slice the capsicums down their natural contour lines into large pieces. Remove the cores, seeds and white ribs, then cut the pieces into 2 – 3 cm chunks. Add the chunks to the potato bowl along with the onion, garlic, thyme leaves and sprigs, olive oil, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Gently but thoroughly mix everything together (I slip on a pair of prep gloves and use my hands to do this, as they’re by far the gentlest and most effective way of making sure everything is coated.) Now slide the whole lot onto the prepared baking tray, spread it out evenly, and put it in the oven.
Roast the potato mixture for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir and cook for another 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are golden and caramelised in patches.
Remove the pan from the oven, then use the foil and baking paper to help funnel the potato mixture i into a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.