Mashed potatoes are the reason I look forward to holiday meals. Whether it’s my grandmother’s smooth and creamy style, or a coarse smashed variety, I’d be pretty happy to eat just mashed potatoes for any meal. More practically, I like them cold in lunches, find they reheat well, and use leftovers to make excellent potato cakes or casserole toppings, so I typically make 4-6 servings each time I make them. To make it into a meal, serve with a hearty salad topped with lentils, chickpeas, or perhaps a hard-boiled egg.

This version is relatively healthy, as mashed potatoes go. Keeping the potato skin on the lower starch red potatoes helps reduce the spike in blood sugar that potatoes can cause, and substituing olive oil and strong flavors for the more typical whole milk and butter leads to a healthier fat profile and fantastic flavor. Try varying the herbs and spices: cinnamon and curry powder, tarragon and black pepper, oregano and lemon, rosemary and red wine vinegar, mint and Kalamata olives…?

Summer Smashed Potatoes

4 medium red potatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1 t dried dill weed (or 1 T fresh)
1 T spicy mustard
3 T white wine vinegar
Dash of lemon juice or lemon zest
Black pepper to taste

Scrub potatoes and dice. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/2 c cooking water. Add the oil, mustard, dill, vinegar, or lemon juice. Mash with a potato masher, adding cooking water gradually to achieve your desired texture. Add black pepper to taste and serve warm or cold.

Need an even healthier version? Subsitute cauliflower or turnips for half the potatoes, being sure to cook well before smashing.