I’m just back from Chicago, where I was helping to care for my 85-year-old mother after she had a knee replacement. Usually when I’m home, I’m too busy seeing friends to cook. This time was different. Each day, I’d go to Whole Foods to shop for fresh food to create a delicious meal for my mom and family. It gave me a chance to try some new dishes, including these easy, delicious do-ahead smashed potatoes.
Cook the potatoes in advance and refrigerate them in a large flat, covered container in a single layer. Then do the final roasting in the oven. Kids will enjoy helping with this recipe, because crushing the potatoes is fun.
Of all the recipes I created and cooked that week, this was the favorite. Everyone likes potatoes, but this recipe really works because the potatoes get so crispy and crunchy in a 450-degree oven. Add the fresh herbs and it’s pure heaven. These potatoes are smashing!
1 ½ pounds new potatoes or small Yukon Gold
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the potatoes goes in easily. Remove from heat and drain off water. Let cool slightly.
Mix the olive oil with the chopped herbs, black pepper and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
Generously oil a sheet pan with olive oil. Place potatoes on the sheet pan, leaving room between each potato. Using a potato masher or the bottom of a measuring cup, smash each potato until relatively flat. Generously brush each potato with the olive oil and herb mixture. Sprinkle them with salt and black pepper once more, if you wish. Roast until the potatoes are golden around the edges and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Bibby Gignilliat is the founder of Parties That Cook, a San Francisco-based culinary event company; www.PartiesThatCook.com.