This recipe was originally going to be a simple baked pesto chickpeas dish, but then I happened upon a bag of mini potatoes at the grocery. As they say, the rest is history.
But in all seriousness, I had been wanting to try a "smashed" potatoes recipe for quite a while. I remember seeing many iterations of this savory appetizer floating around the interwebs a couple years ago, and even then I thought it was a brilliant and delicious take on baked potatoes. Now that I've made them for myself, I can confirm my suspicions: these are so good!
For a spring take on smashed potatoes, I made an easy pesto that only requires seven ingredients, most of which you probably have hanging out in your pantry. From there, simply toss and smash boiled potatoes and bake them in the oven for a half hour. I think this is one of those dishes that you could serve meat lovers and they'd never guess it was vegan--it would certainly fool me!
1. Heat oven to 325°F.
2. Boil four cups of water in a large pot. When water has come to a boil, add potatoes and continue to boil them for 8-10 minutes, or until they can easily be pierced by a fork. Drain and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.
3. While potatoes are boiling, make the pesto. In a food processor, add garlic and pulse a few times so it's finely chopped. Add spinach, basil, nutritional yeast, walnuts, and sea salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Then, with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to process the pesto until it comes together and looks fairly uniform in texture.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the potatoes on top. Using the back of a spoon, gently press down on a potato so that its sides begin to break but the potato itself remains intact. Repeat for remaining potatoes.
5. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Gently toss potatoes in pesto and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly crispy and fragrant. Serve warm.