I have an abundance of fresh Italian basil growing in my garden at home. It’s such a delicious herb that’s slightly sweet with a touch of pepper and has the ability to elevate even the simplest of dishes — like these mashed potatoes.
Because basil is a delicate herb, it can’t withstand high heat; otherwise, its flavors will dissipate. So, for this dish, you want to add the basil at the end just as you’re mashing the potatoes. Also, bruising the basil leaves with the potato masher will help to coax out its flavor.
4 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons plant-based butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 2 minutes to steam dry. Add plant-based butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Gently mash in basil to bruise the leaves and release their flavor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at karyosmond.com.)
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