When I was a kid, if you asked me what my favorite food was, I’d emphatically reply, “Potatoes!” French fried, baked, roasted, boiled, however they were prepared, I was all in, and that spud love still rings true. Although they are technically a vegetable, from a nutritional point of view I consider potatoes to be a starch (or “carb” in the vernacular), one that is minimally processed and nutrient-rich, packed with filling fiber, vitamin C and potassium.
One of my all-time favorite potato dishes, Greek lemon potatoes, is so satisfying to me that I have always said, jokingly, that I could make a meal of it. Well, here I actually did. In the traditional Greek dish, the potatoes are roasted in a bath of lemon juice, olive oil and water, until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, the spuds absorb the tangy citrus flavor and become soft and creamy inside and delightfully browned outside. Often, they are sprinkled with fragrant dried oregano as well.
This recipe starts that way (albeit with a more modest amount of oil than is often used), but to make the dish a complete meal, before the potatoes are completely cooked, I toss fresh green beans and a can of butter beans into the pan. As they roast, the green beans become crisp-tender, the butter beans firm up and brown a bit, and they both marry with the potatoes in the lemony liquid. I like to use butter beans here because they are similar to the big, meaty gigante beans common in Greek cuisine, but any white bean will work, such as cannellini or navy.