Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Capers & Frico

Not much else compares to crispy roast potatoes. Or more to the point, any kind of crispy potato. Fried, smashed, sautéed, whatever, I don’t care. As long as it’s crispy and salty, I’m in.

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

But these crispy fingerling potatoes take the cake for me. They hit all the boxes.

  • Crispy exterior
  • Creamy interior
  • Salty
  • Briny
  • And cheesy, because why not.

With just 5 ingredients (not counting oil, salt and pepper) these potatoes are simple, which is partially why they’re so good. This recipe utilizes a handful of quality ingredients, which results in a side dish that’s no fuss and all flavor.

Capers add brininess while homemade Frico (cheese crisps—so easy) add salt, umami and crunch. Then finally a sprinkling of parsley adds just enough freshness to round out the whole dish.

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

How do you make crispy fingerling potatoes?

  1. Parboil your potatoes before roasting.

    • Why? This jump starts the cooking process and ensures that the potatoes will be cooked through after roasting for a short amount of time (relatively) at a high temperature.
  2. Be generous with fat.

    • Why? It’s important for the potatoes to be evenly coated with oil for even browning and crisping. But don’t shy away, these aren’t laden with fat by any means. 
  3. Set a baking sheet inside the oven while it preheats.

    • Why? The moment the potatoes hit the hot baking sheet they start cooking and crisping!).
  4. Roast the potatoes at a high temperature and set in the lower third of the oven.

    • Why? It will take far too long to achieve browning and crispiness if potatoes are baked at a low temperature. Plus, the longer the potatoes roast the more dehydrated they get, which takes away the incredible creaminess fingerlings are known for.
    • Additionally, roasting in the lower-third of the oven means the potatoes are closer to the heating element which again, means more browning and faster browning.

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

What are (Parmesan) Frico and how do you make them?

A classic Italian appetizer or garnish, Frico are essentially cheese crisps or wafers.

They’re made by mounding grated cheese onto a heated nonstick skillet and cooking until bubbly and golden brown. An easier, more modern method is to bake the grated cheese on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 

The Frico cool slightly on the baking sheet before being transferred to a wire rack, using a thin metal spatula, to cool and crisp up.

What kind of cheese can be used to make Frico?

  • Montasio (most common)
  • Parmesan
  • Asiago
  • Cheddar

No matter the cheese, it should be grated on a large-hole grater before being spooned onto the baking sheet or skillet.

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

What do you serve crispy potatoes with?

Crispy potatoes are so darn universal, you can serve them with just about anything. Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve them with.

  • Any sort of grilled, seared or braised meat
    • Grilled chicken, pork or steak
    • Burgers
    • Braised short ribs
    • Brisket
  • Grilled, baked or sautéed hearty white fish or salmon
  • Whole roasted chicken or turkey
  • Egg dishes such as a frittata or quiche

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

These crispy fingerling potatoes are featured in ZK’s Easy Sunday Night Tuscan Dinner! Check out the full menu.

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

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Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Capers & Frico

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

These roast fingerling potatoes are crispy on the outside and incredibly creamy on the inside. Tossed with capers and frico (cheese crisps), this simple side dish is easy to make and absolutely delicious.

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1¼ hours
  • Yield: 5 cups (6 servings)
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons olive oil

1¾ teaspoons salt, divided

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

frico:

½ cup grated parmesan (large hole grater) (2 ounces)

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Whole dish:

2 tablespoons roughly chopped capers

¼ cup roughly chopped parsley

Instructions

Heat oven to 425°F with racks set to upper middle and lower-middle position, set a baking sheet on lower-middle rack. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt to a large pot; cover with 1-inch of water. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat and cook 5 minutes until a paring knife inserts with resistance in the middle.

 

Drain potatoes well then toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven, drizzle remaining tablespoon oil on sheet then arrange potatoes cut side down in an even layer on baking sheet.

 

Roast potatoes on lower-middle rack until deep golden brown, 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through roasting.  

 

Meanwhile, combine Parmesan, ground fennels, and ⅛ black pepper. Spoon Parmesan mixture by rounded tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheet in mounds set 2 inches apart.

 

Transfer baking sheet to upper-middle rack and bake until golden brown, bubbly and starting to appear dry, 7–9 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let frico cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; break into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

 

Flip potatoes over, and continue to roast until very crispy, 10–15 minutes longer. Let potatoes cool 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to serving bowl and gently toss with parsley, capers, and frico pieces.

 

Notes

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Baking sheets
  • Large pot with lid
  • Large mixing bowl

Nutrition

  • Calories: 198
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 475mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg

Keywords: Potatoes, Side dish, Italian-inspired

Yum

Photograph of crispy fingerling potatoes on a white oval plate set on a gray table.

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