Salads and Side Dishes

Garlic and Basil Smashed Potatoes

Vegetables are in their prime during this time of the year, but sometimes you need a good hearty side dish at a meal. I’ve said before that I don’t really enjoy creamy foods in hot weather. I love mashed potatoes, but to me they are a comfort food during the winter holidays. Ryan and I aren’t really big fans of potato salad either because it’s normally filled with mayo and lacks flavor. So when I was making dinner last week, I thought I would give these a try instead. Roasting the potatoes gives you a crispy exterior as the inside of the potato begins to soften. Instead of adding butter and milk to make the insides creamy, I wanted to enhance the crispiness. The roasted garlic adds in the lost creamy texture, and the fresh basil oil drizzled over top adds great summer freshness. A new spin on potatoes for some summer fun.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cooking Time: 35 minutes     Total Time: 45 minutes

12 – 16 red potatoes or baby Yukon potatoes
1 head of garlic
1/2 cup packed basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 orange, zest and juice
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut the top of the head of garlic off so that you can just see the cloves. Put the garlic in foil and drizzle well with olive oil before completely closing it. Set aside.
  • Scrub the potatoes with a food brush to remove excess dirt if necessary. Poke all over with a fork so that the air escapes during the cooking process. Put the potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Put the garlic (wrapped in foil) on the cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily poked with a fork and tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, make the basil oil by combining the basil, olive oil, and orange juice in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the potatoes come out of the oven, take a large serving fork and “smash” the potatoes by pressing firmly on each to break. You want them to remain intact, so press until broken into but not fully through the potato.
  • Squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a large bowl. Use the fork to also smash the garlic until it’s well broken up. Add the orange zest, potatoes, and basil oil and toss well. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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