Homemade Mashed Potatoes with Herbs
Whenever I am asked what’s for dinner, if the answer includes “and mashed potatoes” my people are extremely happy and the main course matters not all that much.
The good news is that homemade mashed potatoes are so simple to make. Most of the time involved is for the potatoes to simmer until they are mashably tender, and the rest is pouring and stirring and, yes, mashing. Which is incredibly satisfying.
Best Herbs for Mashed Potatoes
You can use all kinds of herbs successfully in mashed potatoes, and changing up the variety keep things interesting. A single herb is also fine: fresh basil, thyme, parsley, sage, all good choices. Different types of fresh herbs have different layers of intensity flavor-wise, so you’ll want to start with smaller amounts and add to taste. Herbs like sage and rosemary are quite pungent, so less is more with some of the “woodier” herbs, while with herbs like parsley or basil or chives you can use a freer hand.
Herb Mashed Potatoes: Choose your favorite herbs, and turn everyone’s favorite side dish into something extra special.Tweet This
In this recipe I used a mix of chives, parsley, and tarragon, which I think cozies up to most holiday menus really nicely. In terms of mixing and matching herb combos, there are really no rules., If you like all of the herbs you are adding separately, then chances are you will like them all the more in combination.
Smooth vs. Lumpy Mashed Potatoes
Ah, the age old dilemma. Do you like your mashed potatoes with a few lumps in them, to keep the texture interesting, and to let everyone know that these are — for real — homemade? Or smooth and lump-free? Thick? Thin? All of these options are valid.
If you like a slightly lumpy texture, then a potato masher is the best way to go. Stop when you’ve reached the desired consistency. You can still get smooth potatoes with a potato masher, you just need to keep mashing. This one fold ups for easier storage, which is pretty awesome.
If you are looking for smooth mashed potatoes, then you will want to make the minor investment in a ricer or a food mill. Both have other culinary uses as well, but even if you only make mashed potatoes with them, they still deserve a spot in your cabinet, IMO. The ricer is cheaper and a bit smaller.
What to Serve with Herb Mashed Potatoes:
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Herb Mashed Potatoes
- Kosher salt for cooking the potatoes, plus 1 teaspoon or more, to taste
- 8 large Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes (3 to 3 ½ pounds total), peeled and halved
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup light or heavy cream or half and half (see Note)
- ½ cup chopped fresh chives
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt, return to a boil, then add the potatoes (the water should cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches). Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer for 15 or so minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.
- Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot, and place them back over medium-low heat. Toss the potatoes in the hot pan occasionally for 3 minutes or so until the moisture is all gone and they have begun to dry out (but not to brown). Remove the pan from the stove, and put the potatoes through a ricer or mash with a potato masher until they are smooth, or as smooth as you like them. Return them to the pot. Meanwhile, heat the milk and the cream together in a microwave safe bowl or pitcher for about one minute, until hot.
- Add the butter and the hot milk and cream mixture to the potatoes and stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk until well combined. Blend in the chives, parsley, and tarragon. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and stir over medium low heat until everything is hot and well blended.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.