I am always testing new recipes and playing with different preparations of foods. I love to create new dishes — this experimenting has always been what de-stresses me. There’s just something about the kitchen itself and the fresh ingredients and all of the possibilities that puts me in my happy place.
While this sounds good to many people, it makes my family crazy. Even if they love a dish, they rarely see it again the same way because I’m always tweaking and changing and experimenting.
But, this recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto is different. I make it the same way every time. Because it’s awesome. And, it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
There’s no better side dish than these potatoes. They are the perfect compliment to chicken or fish or steak. But honestly, I love them best served alongside a great bowl of soup. And, last week we even ate them with some grain-free pasta. And yes, I know pasta and potatoes at the same meal doesn’t sound right. But I guess I figured since the pasta was made out of almonds and almonds are a protein…
The last time I made this dish, I stored the leftovers in a container that somehow got hidden in the way back of the fridge. So, a few days later when I found the container, I had to figure out what to do with them. One of my go-to ways to refurbish leftovers is to cook them with eggs for an awesome breakfast. These crispy smashed potatoes with pesto made the most delicious base for some over-easy eggs… yum… I couldn’t have planned it any better!
If you want to try another great side dish recipe, try my Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans.
This recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto only has a few ingredients, but they are healing ones:
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.
Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!
Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.
- About 20 mini fingerling potatoes, washed
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- For pesto:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
- juice of 2 small lemons
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place the potatoes in a medium pot.
- Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes.
- Add a handful of sea salt to the water.
- Boil the potatoes until a fork stick easily into them (about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Drain the potatoes.
- Using a potatoes masher or the bottom of a skillet, smash the potatoes until they are flattened a bit.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake in the oven until crispy (about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make the pesto by putting all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and processing until almost smooth.
- Feel free to thin out the pesto a bit with some additional extra virgin olive oil if it seems too thick.
- When the potatoes are crispy, remove them from the oven, arrange on a platter and top with pesto.