I think I should let you in on a small secret – make me mashed potatoes and I’ll be instantly won over. I know – I sound like I’m setting the bar low here. But in all seriousness, I am truly in love with well-prepared mashed potatoes. You know the kind – perfectly salted, hearty, filling, richly-flavored and undeniably seductive. Potatoes? Seductive? I’m certain some of you are rolling your eyes at me.
Except I think that the potato is kind of like the little black dress – indispensable, perfect for just about any occasion and with limitless possibilities on variations and accessories. I could rattle off at least a dozen mashed potato recipes, each with its own unique flavor, because as ubiquitous as the spud is, its every day appeal is precisely what gives it the versatility it possesses.
So why am I giving you what seems to be the most basic recipe? Why am I even omitting garlic? The trick to these mashed potatoes, in this particular case, is olive oil. The best you have in the house. The best you can afford. Because how sublime your mashed potatoes will taste will depend exclusively on the quality of the olive oil used. It should also be noted that this is a vegan recipe and is perfect for those with lactose intolerance. Or, if you keep kosher, this works well with any poultry or meat dish you are cooking alongside.
And just as it’s sometimes best to keep your little black dress free or any bold accessories – this is one recipe that wins because of its understatement.
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
a potato ricer or food mill
Cover potatoes with cold water in a pot and add 2 teaspoons salt. Boil, partially covered, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain potatoes.
Heat oil in pot over medium heat and remove from heat. Force potatoes through ricer into oil in pot. Stir in cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt to taste.
Makes 4 to 6 servings