Marmite and thyme roast potatoes

Everyone should take pride in their roast potato preparation. The enjoyment of eating a well turned-out roast potato is similar to the feeling of waking up early on a Saturday morning and realising you don’t have to get up for work. Pure satisfaction.

Roasting up a bunch of potatoes – how hard can it be, I hear you ask? Well, I’ve eaten too many a soft and soggy spud while eating roast dinners out, and it’s such an avoidable disappointment.

Marmite and thyme roast potatoes

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside is the pièce de résistance and is achievable with this recipe. A hint of marmite helps to crisp the potatoes up well and adds a lovely depth to their flavour. And a touch of thyme brings a sprinkling of richness to the equation.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • ½ tsp marmite
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Plenty of salt and pepper to serve

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 2

Method

1. Half-fill a medium-sized pan with cold water. Add a pinch of salt, place it on the hob and bring to the boil.

2. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and rinse under a cold tap. Cut in half, and then cut each half into quarters. When the water begins to bubble, gently lower the potatoes into the water. Boil gently for 10-15 minutes.

3. Put the oven on to gas mark 6. Pour the oil into a medium-sized baking dish and sprinkle over the thyme. Place in the oven to warm through while the potatoes are cooking.

4. Test to see if the potatoes are ready by poking a knife through a couple of slices and making sure they’re fairly soft (but not too soft!) If they’re ready, drain them in a colander and press them gently with the back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. Put them to one side.

5. Take the baking dish out of the oven and carefully tip the potatoes into the dish, evenly distributing them throughout. Add the marmite to the oil so it melts and is easy to distribute over the potatoes. Coat all of the potatoes well in the oil, making sure you get a touch of marmite on all of the slices. Pour over a touch more oil if necessary.

Potatoes covered in marmite, thyme and oil

Potatoes covered in marmite, thyme and oil – ready for the oven.

6. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Check on them every 15 minutes or so and turn them over to make sure they crisp up on all sides. After 45 minutes, they should be looking golden and crispy, which means they are ready to serve. Season well with salt and pepper and serve as a delicious accompaniment to a roast dinner.

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Zesty guacamole

Guacamole has got to be one of the world’s best dips. Hailing from Mexico, it’s a tasty avocado-based condiment that compliments many types of dishes – from burritos to salads – and it’s healthy too. I love everything about it: the colour, the texture, and of course its wonderful flavour.

This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg – a staple cookbook for vegetarians who like fuss free, hearty food. It’s super speedy to make and goes nicely with Mexican mains like fajitas and enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • Guacamole2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 2-3

Method

  1. Prepare the avocados: slice down the middle until you reach the stone, pull the two halves apart and remove the stone by hand or with a knife if it doesn’t pop out easily. Make a small tear in the skin and carefully peel it off each side of the fruit. Chop into small cubes.
  2. Pop the avocados into a small bowl. Add the lemon and lime juice, chilli flakes and oil and stir well with a tablespoon, until the avocados turn into a paste. Don’t worry if it’s a bit chunky; it’s good to keep some texture.
  3. Add the yogurt and stir in well until it blends in with the other ingredients.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve – depending on how messy your mixing gets, you may like to transfer the dip to a new bowl.