Sea salt and balsamic vinegar wedges

A bowl of crunchy oven-roasted potato wedges is an easy and always welcome snack with drinks.

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When I was kid I was always drawn to the thrillingly sharp flavour of salt and vinegar chips. Not much has changed, except now I can munch them down with beer, which might have raised some eyebrows in the school playground.

A lazy, sunny afternoon with a friend and a cold six-pack wouldn't be complete without a bowl of these potato wedges, and they're so easy to get together that scaling up for larger groups is always an option. Take my word for it: no one can resist them, and even more so if they have a cold drink in their hand. Instead of the drama of deep-frying, take the calmer path of oven-roasting and turn out as many as you need.

Cook's tip: The best potatoes for wedges are big, old potatoes. A King Edward will give you a fluffier interior; a Dutch Cream or Sebago will be firmer but still excellent. Choose the real monsters when you’re buying them – tiny wedges are just weird.

You could use any vinegar you prefer or have to hand. I instinctively reach for balsamic, with its deep, dark sweetness, but white, malt, wine and even apple cider vinegars all work in their own ways. As for salt, I only keep one – Maldon sea salt flakes, which adds some more crunch – so if you're using fine table salt, use half as much.


Sea salt and balsamic vinegar wedges

 

Serves 2.

3 potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Set your oven to 220°C (425°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper or foil (the sugars in any drips of vinegar could scorch, so make clean up easy).

Cut the scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes in half, lengthways, then cut each half into three or four long wedges, depending on the potato's size. Place them in a roomy bowl and toss with the olive oil until well coated.

Arrange the wedges on the baking sheet skin-side down, so all the cut edges are pointing up. Cooking them this way means you don't need to turn them.

Roast for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and turn the wedges over so that a flat side is against the surface of the tray. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon of sea salt flakes, transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.