Barefoot Contessa's Basil Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
My hubby loves meat and potatoes. One day he actually came up to me after breakfast while he was gnawing on a sausage link saying, "You know, I should really try this low carb thing - I mean I love eggs, sausage and bacon..." Let's just say that was the shortest diet in history. All it took was a little reminder of his love for all things potato and his diet was a goner. Whether their chips, mashed, scalloped, baked, roasted or any other type of preparation - he loves them. I have to say I love them also and I am always looking for a new way to make them.
I recently got Ina Garten's new cookbook, "Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?" and there was an amazing recipe for Basil Parmesan Mashed Potatoes that were out of this world. I love the green color and can't wait to make this amazing side with some fresh basil from the garden this summer. I paired these with a balsamic marinated flank steak and let's just say I think he won't think twice when that Nordstrom bill shows up this month - he was in heaven!
Basil Mashed Potatoes
2 lbs large Yukon Gold or white boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed*
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20-25 minutes, until very tender. Drain well, return to the saucepan, and cook over low heat until any remaining water evaporates. Set aside.
Meanwhile, blanch the basil leaves. First, fill a bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan to a rolling boil, add the basil and cook for only 15 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge them into the ice water bath. Drain, and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the half and half and Parmesan and bring to a simmer. Place the basil in a food processor and puree. Add the half and half mixture to the basil and process until smooth.
With a handheld mixture, beat the potatoes until they are broken up. Slowly add the half and half mixture to the potatoes, along with the salt and pepper. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.