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6 Red or white potatoes, each the size of a tennis ball or larger, scrubbed and dried2 shallots, thinly sliced6 small sprigs fresh rosemary18 bay leavesZest removed with a vegetable peeler from 1 lemon, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces½ cup extra virgin olive oilKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Working with one potato at a time, place it in the well of a wooden spoon. Starting at one end of the potato and working toward the other end, make a series of crosswise vertical cuts about ¼-inch apart, taking care not to cut all the way through the potato. The wooden spoon should help with this; the knife will hit the sides of the indentation of the spoon before it can go all the way through the potato.
Place the potatoes on a small baking sheet. Slip the shallots, rosemary, bay leaves and lemon peel into the slits alternating and making sure all of the slits are filled. Drizzle the potatoes with oil by opening the cuts with your fingers while you drizzle so that some of the oil gets down inside. Sprinkle generously with salt and a little bit of pepper.
Bake the potatoes until the tops are crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Serve hot immediately with a dollop of soft butter.
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