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Cooking roast potatoes is easy to do in the oven but creating the perfect texture starts before they go in. While you can coat them in sizzling hot oil and hope for crunchy skin, Lisa Marley, plant-based chef and head trainer at ProVeg explained that the best results come from the water you boil the potatoes in. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, she shared her seasonal recipe for perfect roasties.

Everyone loves crispy roast potatoes, whether you serve them alongside vegetables or a joint of meat for a weekend dinner.

Lisa said: “No Sunday lunch roast is complete without roast potatoes but some people struggle to make them crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle.

“You are looking to maximise the crispy mess to creaminess, for the perfect roast potato experience.”

To do this, she recommended swapping plain water for an alkaline alternative when boiling the raw spuds.


To make enough flavour-infused roast potatoes to serve four people, you will need:

  • 1kg Maris Piper potatoes
  • 100ml infused oil
  • Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Two teaspoons of salt

For the infused oil:

  • 100ml olive oil
  • Three garlic cloves, crushed
  • Large sprig of fresh rosemary

For evenly cooked potatoes, the most important step is to cut them into even chunks before cooking, Lisa recommended doing this in large halves, or quarters for larger potatoes.

She said: “Next you want to parboil the potato chunks in alkaline water. Do this by adding half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the cold water.

“The alkaline helps the outside of the potato break down, leading to a starchy paste when gently shaken, creating an extremely crispy outside when roasted.

“We are told to parboil the potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil, however, if you add the potatoes to boiling salted water with the bicarbonate of soda, this will ensure the outside cooks quickly but the inside stays firm.”

Once the potatoes are soft but not too crumbly, you can drain them off ready to coat them with the infused oil.

While you can make it fresh, Lisa noted that the flavours will be stronger if done the night before – or left for at least two hours.

To make the oil, add your crushed garlic and fresh rosemary springs to 100ml of olive oil and let it infuse for a few hours. Pass through a sieve to remove the herbs before serving.

Give the drained potatoes a shake to “rough them up” and add coat in the oil in a large roasting tin.

Roast the potatoes in a preheated oven at 200C and leave to cook for 20 minutes without turning or opening the oven.

After this time, give them a shake and roast them for a further 30 minutes, until they are “dark golden and crispy” on every side.

Once cooked, the potatoes should store for three to four days in the fridge as long as you leave them to cool before refrigerating. Keep in an airtight container or wrap in tin foil for the best results.

Reheat in the oven for the same crispy results when enjoying the leftovers, or use up in a bubble and squeak. You can find Lisa’s recipe here.

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