Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, and my love for mashed potatoes!
Earthy vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc. love fresh herbs and citrus. One of the
challenges faced when cooking for Shabbat and Festivals is the idea that most dishes have to be
made ahead of the meal, and is often left on a hot plate or a warm oven for hours. The method here
of creating a salsa to pour over the mashed potatoes just before serving, brightens up the dish and
gives it a fresh zingy edge. Try this salsa over other roasted or mashed vegetables.
- 2 kilos of potatoes, peeled and cut into medium sized pieces
- 8 cloves of garlic, peeled, but left whole
- 10 sprigs of thyme
- 2 lemons, the peel removed in thin strips with a peeler, the juice reserved for the salsa
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 120 ml (½ cup) olive oil
For the Salsa:
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 strip of lemon rind, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
- 4 sprigs mint (about 16 leaves, leaves only, finely chopped)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- Pepper to taste
Place the potatoes, garlic, thyme and lemon peel in a large pot, cover with water, enough to cover the
potatoes, plus an extra couple of inches of water, add the salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat
and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. Before draining the potatoes, remove ½ cup of
the cooking liquid and set aside.
Return the potatoes to the pot and using a potato masher or a potato ricer, mash the potatoes
adding the 120 ml olive oil and the cooking water. Keep warm (or rewarm) until ready to serve.
Make the Salsa:
On a cutting board, mound together the salt, lemon rind and garlic. Using the flat of the knife, rub the
ingredients together until you have a paste. Place this paste in a medium bowl, add the lemon juice
and the herbs, mix well and then drizzle in the olive oil a bit at a time whisking slowly to incorporate
until you have a dressing/salsa that has amalgamated.
Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until combined. Either way, taste for seasoning and add the pepper to taste.
Just before serving, drizzle the salsa over the potatoes