Bay leaves are a common addition to stock, soups and casseroles, but their unique musky scent works a treat with vegetable dishes. This is a Sicilian dish from my sister-in-law Marcella, though she probably wouldn’t add any butter (I do because I think it helps brown the potatoes).
700g (about 1½ lbs) small new potatoes, washed
1 fresh bay leaf per potato
1 Tbsp olive oil
Flaky sea salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°).
2 Put potatoes in a saucepan with cold water and a good pinch of salt. Bing to the boil, then lower the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, make a slit in each potato about three-quarters of the way through, then gently squeeze to widen the slit and stuff in a bay leaf.
2 Put potatoes in a shallow ovenproof dish. Drizzle with a little oil, then roll them around the dish until coated in oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and dot with butter.
3 Roast potatoes for about 30-35 minutes, shaking pan once or twice. Serve crunchy and hot.
When small red new potatoes are available, try them for a change.