Smashed potatoes with sage pesto
As I type this I realise that many of you are probably in the festive mood already, in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I hope your family and friend gatherings bring your souls a lot of comfort and joy, especially after another weird year of semi-isolation that we’ve just had. For us, Europeans, Thanksgiving is the point where we start vaguely pondering about the specifics of Xmas. Both occasions are an excuse to eat a lot of delicious food in good company so that’s something I can totally get behind.
On that note, I have a quick (yet delicious) side dish for you today, which can totally be made at the last minute. Both Duncan and I have been going through a bit of a potato phase lately and we cannot get enough of these crisped up beauties so I thought I would share this simple dish. I am not sure who first came up with this idea to smash and bake last night’s potatoes, but it’s genius. These smashed potatoes are delightfully fluffy inside but with some significantly crisp rough edges, which I find it impossible to say ‘NO’ to ever, no matter how full I am. In fact, eating too many of these has been a bit of a problem lately and I seem to be slow to learn from my mistakes 😉 …
I paired these golden beauties with a simple sage pesto-style sauce that comes together in seconds and its herbal, garlicky and lemony notes really work with crispy and fluffy tatties (that’s what Scots call them, how cute does that sound?!) If sage isn’t your thing or you would rather pare the preparation involved down even more, simply sauté some very finely chopped garlic in olive oil and use it to season and lubricate your potatoes. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on these beauties as they are too good to pass up.
- olive oil
- 1kg / 2 lb starchy cooked cold potatoes*
- 20 g / ¾ oz sage, leaves picked
- 6 g / ¼ oz (2 sprigs) rosemary, leaves picked
- 30 g / 1/3 cup roasted (ideally) walnuts
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest + 20 ml / 4 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 120 ml / ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 225° C / 440° F, grab a large baking tray, a small bowl of olive oil, brush and a potato masher.
- Brush a little oil under each potato, then using a potato masher gently squash the potato a little so that it doesn’t fall apart. Brush the tops of the potatoes with a little oil and bake for about 15 minutes, then using a spatula flip to the other side and continue baking until nicely browned (about another 15-20 minutes).
- Serve warm, with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a drizzle of sage pesto or garlic oil.
- Put all of the ingredients apart from the oil in a small food processor or chopper (this is what I use). Blitz until chopped. Slowly (if your appliance has a chute, otherwise all at once) add the oil.
- Season to taste. Keep in an airtight container in a fridge.
POTATOES METHOD: For best results, use fridge cold, cooked potatoes. Your potatoes should ideally be a touch (2-3 minutes less) undercooked, but it’s not the end of the world if they aren’t.