Steamy carbs – there’s nothing better. Especially when they’re crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. These delicious potatoes by food writer Julia Busuttil Nishimura come from her second cookbook, A Year of Simple Family Food, which was released in August.

The Melbourne-based cook and Ostro author says this dish – named by her four-year-old son – doesn’t take much effort.

“I choose small waxy potatoes for this recipe,” she says, “as they are better eating and tend to hold their shape.”

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Dimension is added by throwing in the capers, which offer a hit of salt, plus the lemon zest for some freshness, and the garlic for a peppery bite. The parmesan is optional, but is it really? Not on our watch.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s Best Fried Potatoes
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

700g small pink-eye potatoes (or any other waxy baby potatoes)

1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

Small handful of parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan to serve (optional)

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cook for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the capers on a board, then add the parsley and continue chopping. Now add the garlic and continue to chop until you have an almost paste-like mixture. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon zest. Set aside.

Place the potatoes on a flat surface and, using something flat, such as a plate or the bottom of a pan, gently squash the potatoes. Don’t completely crush them, you want them to mostly hold their shape.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the potatoes and fry for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy. Scatter over the parsley mixture and gently move the potatoes around so they are coated and the capers become a little crispy. Serve with a generous grating of parmesan, if desired.

A Year of Simple Family Food ($39.99) by Julia Busuttil Nishimura (with photography by Armelle Habib) is out now.