Monday, July 18, 2011

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes


2 pounds medium to large red potatoes
2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, grated or pressed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in a large pot of cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, then return potatoes to pot.

In a small bowl, stir together oil, lemon juice, thyme, oregano, garlic, pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt.

Add the oil mixture to the pot and mash with a masher until well combined. Don't overdo it or the texture will become gummy.


I know I casually called my previous post an "accident," but that wasn't quite right. That was more like a creative/use what I have in the refrigerator sort of dish.

THIS. This was an accident. A happy, happy accident.

My intent was to make these lemon herbed potatoes from Krysta - for the second time, in fact, so you'd think everything would have been fine and dandy. Wrong.

I don't know if it was that I used red potatoes (less sturdy?) or I brought the water to a boil with the potatoes already in the pot (I can't remember what I did the first time), but after the indicated 8 to 10 minutes of cooking, the potatoes were so tender that when I tried to "toss them" with the olive oil and herbs, they simply fell apart.

I stared at the mess in the bowl, wondering how I was going to salvage the potatoes as a side dish for dinner, when a moment of inspiration struck. I had heard of olive oil mashed potatoes, hadn't I? Somewhere? I had no idea if that meant combining the potatoes with just the oil itself, with cream... whatever. I threw caution to the wind and started mashing, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to the bowl for good measure, since the original recipe had lemon squeezed on top...

And oh my goodness. So. Insanely. Good. Awesomely, astoundingly good. "I could eat these every week and I don't even much like mashed potatoes" good.

I never thought to try mashed potatoes this way before - and I bet neither have you - but I promise you will be amazed at the outstanding flavor and texture. They're even better if you have some pan sauce from chicken or pork chops to drizzle on top.

One cooking note: don't put the potatoes through a ricer or food mill. I tried that the second time and they were terrible. Interesting how much a texture change can affect a recipe, no? So just trust me and don't do it. These are potatoes that need a coarse mash.


Jeff Overley said...

Looks like a truly epic accidental invention. Right up there with vulcanized rubber and penicillin. Seriously, I'm making this asap, good stuff.

Amy said...

"...even better if you have some pan sauce from chicken or pork chops to drizzle on top." *DED* This is a cruel joke. Damn weirdo kids. But looking at the ingredients, this would be simple to halve the recipe, no? I miss potatoes in my life. Waaaa.

Melissa said...

Jeff, you're so funny. It really was a spectacularly awesome surprise, though!

Amy, MAKE! You can cut it right in half!

Cary said...

Reading that made my mouth water. I do love potatoes. Are red potatoes always the best for mashed? We use boxed flakes, so I guess any potato would be an upgrade.

Melissa said...

HA. I grew up on boxed flakes... on into my 20's, even.

I wouldn't say red are the best. That honor probably goes to Yukon golds. But red worked very well in THIS particular application. Normal mashed potatoes with butter and cream seem to work best with the golden varieties.

This is easier, though!

Cary said...

Boxed are actually better than they sound, IMO. We're usually too busy/lazy to mash actual potatoes.

Jeff Overley said...

Made these two nights ago - as good as advertised! I did add sauteed onions and a bit of pecorino, in keeping with my lily gilding ways. Thanks again for the idea.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Accident or not, these look and sound amazing, plus looking over your ingredient list, it looks like a lot less caolories than using evaporated milk and butter. You had me at lemon!

Melissa said...

Jeff, I am stoked you made and enjoyed them. Very cool. Lily gilding ways. Heh.

Katherine, it was definitely an accidental benefit and since I am taking very, very good care of myself these days, it was a great discovery. This way, my husband and I can still enjoy mashed potatoes a bit more often. NOT that I will never make the butter and half and half version of mine again - I'm a big believer in being able to have it all, in certain ratios. ;) P.S. Good to see you!

LilSis said...

These look delicious! Since my family loves our mashed potato recipe that's loaded with butter, sour cream, and cream cheese, I only make them for special occasions or holidays.

Most of the time when I cook potatoes these days, I just roast them with olive oil, garlic and rosemary, but I'll definitely be trying your mashed potato version with the herbs very soon!

Don't ya love it when accidents turn out so yummy? :-)

Melissa said...

I do! This ended up being a delicious and healthier way to have mashed potatoes. Awesome all the way around. Thanks LilSis!

Anonymous said...

I would love to know what your other side dish is in these photos. Looks like some really yummy carrots?

Melissa said...

Yep! I just cut carrots into long chunks, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme and roast at 400 for 30 minutes or so. :)