Laura Calder, host of Food Network Canada’s French Food at Home, is determined to show that French food can be far easier and lighter than it’s reputation as a rich, complicated cuisine. Metro got a hold of this wonderfully simple recipe from her book French Taste (HarperCollins Canada) that delights the eyes as much as the palate.

(Taken from French Taste © 2009 by Laura Calder. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.)

Accordion Potatoes

A woman I once cooked with in the south of France taught me this method for potatoes, and I still love to make them when I’m in the mood for a little fun. All you do is slice potatoes, without cutting through all the way, so that the slices remain hinged at the bottom. When the potatoes bake, the slices get crisp and golden, fanning out slightly like leaves in a book, like a jewelry box for rings, like the folds of a gypsy’s accordion ... However you want to think of them, they’re awfully cute.

Makes 4 servings.


• 2 pounds (900 g) medium-small potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes
• Bay leaves and thyme sprigs
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
• 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter

Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the potatoes crosswise, as for hard-cooked eggs, into slices no thicker than your finger, but cut only about three-quarters of the way through.

Lay the herbs between a few of the folds. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and melted butter, and bake until golden and crisp on the outside and soft inside, 45 minutes to an hour.

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