Monday, September 5, 2011

Potato Basil Puree

One of my favorite herbs is basil. This year, we have a lot of basil-- and time is getting short to use it all.  There is only so much pesto that I can make!  I was glad to catch a pre-recorded episode The Barefoot Contessa, where Ina made this recipe.

 So I happily cut a few stems of our hearty basil plants and rinsed them, and set a pot of water to boiling.

Then I blanched them for the 15 seconds that Ina instructed me to do, then set them into an ice bath to "shock them".

Using the same pot of boiling water, I also cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, with the skin on (Ina says to peel them, but I like unpeeled small potatoes).  

 In a separate pot, I heated half and half and Parmesan cheese and let that thicken a bit on very low heat.  So, the stage was set...


Ina uses a hand mixer to cream the potatoes.  I prefer to use my OXO food mill.  I like how creamy my mashed potatoes turn out, and the food mill removes a lot of peels anyway.

To me, this is a lot easier than using a potato ricer. So, now we are ready to make creamy potatoes...

Using a food processor, I added the steel blade and the blanched Basil. Then I added the hot cream and pureed the basil.  Now, all I have to do is pour it over the "milled" potatoes..

The hot mixture is easy blended, and the potatoes are lovely creamy texture-- no lumps!  I much prefer this method over using a potato masher! Season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh Parmesan Cheese.

NOTE: The second time I made these, I used Tyler Florence's method of cooking the potatoes right in the cream (you can view it here).  I then poured out the cream (saving it), once the potatoes were tender, and use half of it to puree with the basil, with a blender.  I think the blender worked better. The remaining hot cream is reserved, on low heat, to fresh up or reheat the potatoes. This technique worked really well!

Ina served this with Veal Chops with Roquefort Butter.  I was so ready to make these, but I could not find Free-Range Veal Chops-- even at Whole Foods! So, I made a grilled Pork Tenderloin.

VERDICT:  My husband, son and I really loved the flavor of these potatoes.  This might sound odd, but my men said it kind of tasted "pumpkin pie".  Don't ask me why, but they both agreed.  Pumpkin pie?  I tasted basil and Parmesan.  I am so fond of garlic mashed potatoes, so I made this recipe a second time.  Not only did I cook the potatoes in the hot cream, but I threw in one clove of garlic.  I really liked this version a lot.  My husband said that these didn't taste like pumpkin pie. Well, that's good.  I have no idea what tricks their taste buds were playing.  The bottom line is, these are a colorful and flavorful way to enjoy fresh basil.  One more Ina Garten recipe success story.  I can see why I have all of her cookbooks. They are pretty much fool-proof! I hope you try them!

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.


                               

Potato Basil Puree

        <p>At summer&#8217;s end, our garden has a lot of basil to be used. Making pesto is a no-brainer. But, this recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavor of fresh basil, by blanching it and then pureeing it with half and half and Parmesan cheese.  The color ...    

        See Potato Basil Puree on Key Ingredient.    

   

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12 comments:

All Things Yummy said...

Looks delicious. I've been wanting a food mill. It's on my wish list.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I have tons of basil too this year... this sounds like a really good way to use it up!

bellini said...

I have all that I need to make these potatoes Debby including basil that has been sitting on the counter. All I need is something to accompany them.

David Hernández said...

It looks owesome, indeed is healthy and whith a lot of vitamins. Sure I'll do it.

Joanne said...

I have a TON of basil sitting on my table that I just bought from the farmer's market...I'll be weighing in on this pumpkin pie business.

Kim said...

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and was completely blown away by it. Even the seasonings were right on. As far as I'm concerned this is a stand out recipe. I actually think about it and try to invent main courses that pair well with it. LOL!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Both of the techniques sound good but I agree that using a food mill gives a nice texture to potatoes. Strange that they both thought the one recipe had a pumpkin pie flavor.

Ms. Givens said...

You make everything look so wonderful!

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

THis is the second time I've come across a fellow food blogger who has prepared this recipe. it must be insanely delicious! A must make for me before all of the basil is gone when the temps drop! I bet you have basil year round in California, Debby!

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

THis is the second time I've come across a fellow food blogger who has prepared this recipe. it must be insanely delicious! A must make for me before all of the basil is gone when the temps drop! I bet you have basil year round in California, Debby!

Noelle Marie said...

so don't be surprised when my exact some Ina version of this recipe comes out. it's in my "to blog" file. they were so good. glad we share the same brain!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Whoa...you've taken mashed potatoes to a whole new level, Debby. I was interested in your comments about the food mill and that you use an OXO. I recently bought a mill on the internet and it does a terrible job so I'm looking for another. We can never go wrong with one of Ina's recipes. This recipe is bookmarked!