Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

You know how cheese makes everything taste better? Pesto works that way too, and it’s a lot less fattening. The best pesto is homemade. The best homemade pesto comes from basil plants in your garden or in pots on your balcony or deck. We had about five good-sized basil plants last year and they provided enough pesto to last us well into this summer. It adds a bit of summer to every dish.

In a few months it will be time to buy seeds or seedlings. Starting from seed is much less expensive than buying small plants. We followed the directions on the seed package and did just fine — no other education required.

I made these potatoes (and Italian Spaghetti Squash) to accompany my Provencal Chicken dinner. It’s a nice twist on mashed potatoes. If pesto isn’t your thing, you could try Cheesy Broccoli Mashed Potatoes instead.

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

  • 2-3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut large ones into pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp pesto, or more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add broth and mash the potatoes a bit, not too much. Add pesto and mash a bit more, until they’re the desired consistency. Stir in parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Original recipe: Pesto Mashed Potatoes, Rachael Ray, Food Network

pesto mashed potatoes recipe

Flickr photo by Shoshanah

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