Twice-Cooked Herbed Potatoes

Looking for something different to do with your starchy friends?  There are a million ways to boil, roast, mash and fry them, but they can also get boring.  By cooking these twice you get the best of the creaminess along with a crispier outside all wrapped in the aroma of fresh herbs.  They couldn’t be easier, but you’ll impress with this twist on the plain ol’ spud.

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TWICE-COOKED HERBED POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 24 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed
  • 3-4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

Instructions

  • Place washed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.
  • Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and drain potatoes in a colander.
  • Place potatoes on a large baking sheet and smash each one with a fork until about half of its original thickness.  Surface should be uneven – this helps to hold all the goodies!
  • Drizzle smashed potatoes with olive oil.  Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper and herbs.
  • Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and slightly crispy.  Serve immediately!

Want to amp up the flavor?  Try using truffle salt for an earthy addition you’ll love.  Again, there’s no rocket science here, but I think these are a welcome diversion from the norm.  They’re great hot out of the oven, but can also be eaten as a cold appetizer with dijon mayo (1 Tbs dijon mustard to 1/2 Cup mayo) or garlic aioli dipping sauce.  Either way, get them in your mouth and fast – they won’t last long!

Basic Pesto

We’re in the heat of summer and there’s an abundance of basil in my herb pots!  Sounds like it’s time to make some pesto – don’t worry, this is the easiest no-cook sauce in the world and will make you look like a Food Network Star!  Pesto is a versatile sauce that can be used on hot or cold pastas, chicken, fish, pizza, etc.  Start with this super-simple recipe and then let your imagination take you to some tasty places…

BASIC PESTO

Ingredients

  • 25-30 Fresh Basil Leaves, Washed & Dried
  • 1 Small Handful Fresh Parsley
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

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Instructions

  • In a food processor (I have a small one) place basil, parsley and whole garlic cloves.  Pulse several times until chopped evenly.
  • Add olive oil and then pulse again until evenly blended.  Mixture will not be smooth, but herbs and garlic will be finely chopped.
  • Add pine nuts and Parmesan and pulse until mixed thoroughly.
  • Toss with warm pasta and/or spoon over cooked chicken or fish.  The recipe above is good for about 8 ounces of pasta, so you may need to double it for a family meal.

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See, I told you this was easy!  I tossed my pesto with bowtie pasta and peas and served with grilled marinated chicken thighs.  Try it as a base for pizza or a dollop in your tomato soup.  There are a ton of possibilities and a little can go a long way to add a burst of fresh flavor to your recipes.  Also, consider variations of basic pesto by using different herbs and nuts.  What about walnuts with chives and parsley?  Add a little lemon zest and juice to brighten the flavor – especially with fish.  You can also alter the amount of olive oil depending on your preference and flavor intensity you like.  Any way you make it, enjoy it all summer and fall while you have a great supply of fresh herbs!!