Aromatic olive oil mash

The bowl of potatoes needed using up – this was the result…

1kgDesiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
6thyme sprigs (5g)
3mint sprigs (5g)
4garlic cloves, peeled
1lemon: finely shave the skin to get 5 strips
100mlolive oil
salt and black pepper
60mlolive oil
1garlic clove, crushed
2 tspthyme leaves, finely chopped
about 8mint leaves, finely chopped (to get 2 tsp)
1lemon: finely grate the zest to get 1 tbsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp


1. Put the potatoes, thyme sprigs, mint sprigs, garlic, lemon skin and 2 teaspoons of salt into a large saucepan. Cover with enough boiling water to rise 2cm above the potatoes. Simmer gently for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, make the topping. Put the oil, garlic, thyme leaves, mint leaves, lemon zest and juice into a small bowl with ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Stir to combine, and set aside.

3. Drain the potatoes into a sieve set over a large bowl (you’ll use some of the cooking water later, so don’t throw it all away). Pick out the thyme and mint sprigs, then return the potatoes to the saucepan (along with the garlic and lemon peel). Use a masher to mash the potatoes, adding 100ml of oil and about 140ml of the cooking water slowly as you go, until you get a smooth mash.

4. Transfer the mash to a platter and use the back of a spoon to create dips in the surface. Drizzle the herb and garlic oil topping evenly over and finish with a good grind of black pepper.

Reference: Ottenlenghi, ‘Simple’

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