Crispy smashed potatoes with pesto, where have you been all my life? There is a restaurant in Rhode Island that we frequent in the summer and they make an awesome smashed potato served with mustard sauce. I actually crave those potatoes, which is unusual for me since that’s not really in my wheelhouse for cravings…..but an even more unusual thing is that for several years, we’ve been going there and loving on those smashed potatoes and I’ve never tried to recreate them. THAT is totally in my wheelhouse….recipe re-creation. While in line at the grocery recently, flipping through magazines, I saw a photo of crispy smashed potatoes with pesto and had to leave the line to go get supplies to make them. It was that instant. Crispy smashed potatoes with pesto made an appearance on our table THAT NIGHT!
I’m toying with the idea of replacing the mashed potatoes on our Thanksgiving table with these crispy smashed potatoes. Generally, I can’t get away with replacing a traditional family favorite for a holiday meal…but these crispy smashed potatoes will be awesome with gravy…and they just may pass muster. I love how simple these are to make, and how yummy. I love their simple and short ingredient list…..and that EVERY TIME I have made them, they were awesome. Hard to mess these up!!
Who am I kidding though? There would be major upheaval in this house if our Thanksgiving didn’t include mashed potatoes. I guess I’ll save this recipe for a day or two after Thursday when the mashed potatoes are all gone and everyone is wondering what to do with all the leftover gravy!
Either that or I’ll just continue making these crispy smashed potatoes for no other reason than the fact that they are DELICIOUS. Simple as that. Perfect for a breakfast side. WAY better than any hash-brown potatoes. Awesome as a Sunday football game snack. We may have tried one (or both) of those already….and I’m gearing up for the weeknight side dish award with a batch of these. Easy enough to make anytime because most of the time involved is passive.
Not that I really needed any more reasons to make these crispy smashed potatoes but…..nutritionally, potatoes have more value—-especially when you leave the skins on—than people realize. They are an excellent source of potassium (more than a banana) and vitamin C. They are also a good source of B Vitamins, iron and calcium.
The recipe below for pesto is a fairly basic one. I add in some Dijon mustard to pay homage to the original smashed potato I fell in love with that had a creamy mustardy dressing, but otherwise I kept it traditional. If you’re looking for a pesto that’s a bit different (or you can’t find any basil), try this kale and cashew pesto or this arugula and spinach pesto.
Let me know in the comments if you’re able to sneak these onto the Thanksgiving menu this year. I’ll be rooting for you!
- 1 ½ lbs. small potatoes (red bliss or Yukon gold, skins on).
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Fresh thyme sprigs
For the Pesto:
- 3 cups basil (combo with parsley if needed)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-4 Tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 450.
- In a large stock pot, bring enough water to totally cover potatoes to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Boil potatoes 15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain.
- Place cooked potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and use a towel to sop up any residual water. Press bottom of glass (I used a 1 cup pyrex measuring cup) down to smash, until flattened but still in one piece.
- Drizzle with olive oil and use a brush to baste. Sprinkle with S+P + Thyme leaves and flip. Repeat the drizzle, baste and sprinkle.
- Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until crispy.
- Make the pesto:
- Place basil, garlic, pine nuts, mustard, lemon juice and zest, S + P in bowl of food processor and process until everything is finely chopped. Keep it running and slowly pour in the oil. Scrape down the sides and mix again for about 2 minutes until smooth. Taste, adding in more S + P as desired.
- If pesto is too thick for your taste, turn on processor again and drizzle in water 1 Tablespoon at a time. Scraping down sides and testing it after each addition.
- Drizzle pesto on crispy smashed potatoes and serve warm.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.