I was inspired to cook mashed potatoes using olive oil instead of butter after I tasted the rich and creamy Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes at Birreria, the rooftop beer garden at Eataly in New York City. These Tuscan mashed potatoes have a great flavor from the olive oil, roasted garlic, and rosemary. Obviously, using a good quality extra virgin olive oil is the key to this recipe. Omitting the cream will result in a healthier dish, that is both vegan and gluten-free, with a more distinct olive oil flavor.
Tuscan Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from The Olive Orchard
Yields 4-6 servings
1 head of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the roasted garlic
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, or more to taste
salt and coarsely ground black pepper
truffle oil, optional, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and wrap in the foil. Bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is roasted and very soft. Squeeze the soft cloves from the skins into a small bowl and mash well with a fork. Set aside.
Meanwhile, over high heat, boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the potato water, and mash the potatoes with a masher or fork, or rice the potatoes and place back in the pot. Add the warm cream. Stir in the mashed roasted garlic and rosemary. Add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil slowly and stir to incorporate fully. Adding some of the reserved starchy potato water will result in creamier potatoes. Taste and add more olive oil, up to 1/2 cup, and cream, if necessary, to taste. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
Garnish with a drizzle of truffle oil or more olive oil.