I love to make smashed potatoes, and one of my favorite ways to make them is thin and crispy and EASY. Fried smashed potatoes? Nope! Crispy, yes, but not easy enough. For me, it’s all about roasted smashed potatoes. Cook them through, smash them thin, then a little bit of oil, and into the oven they go to crisp up without me standing over them. Add an awesome basil aioli and you’ll have smashed potatoes you’ll want to make again and again.
Last year I was reading my Fine Cooking magazine and I saw a recipe for Smashed Potatoes with Lots of Oregano.
Yes, I still read cooking magazines! I love looking on-line for recipes, but I also love getting inspiration for recipes I wasn’t thinking about until I saw a picture for them. That’s where flipping through a magazine comes in. The internet is great for searching, but magazines are great for browsing.
Anyway, back to the recipe! I love potatoes and oregano and smashed potatoes (nothing like getting out your aggressions in a constructive way 🙂 ) so I made the smashed potatoes. And they were tasty. But it was too much time frying! Lots of oil, I had to do them in batches, they still weren’t as crispy as I wanted. I really LOVE crispy potatoes! So, I figured out my own recipe, while keeping the one part of that recipe which really worked for me.
And what was the part that worked for me?
Cooling the potatoes slowly in the pot to make them all dense and easy to smash!
To make extra crispy oven baked smashed potatoes:
- Use small potatoes 1-1 1/2 inches wide. Save 2 inch potatoes for when you want a thicker smashed potato.
- Cool the potatoes slowly.
- Smash them to 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
- Brush them with olive oil.
- Bake them on the bottom rack.
- Give them a flip!
Quick Tip: Use wax paper for smashing the potatoes. It prevents the potatoes from sticking and keeps them neat.
Once I had perfectly crispy smashed potatoes down, it was time to think about the sauce. In our family we are huge fans of Blue Cheese Dressing with potatoes, but I wanted basil. And I wanted an aioli. So there was nothing for it but to make a basil aioli. An egg, some oil, a whole pile of basil and I was in business! I’ve always used the old-fashioned whisk method (it works!), but lately I’ve been taken with the hand blender method. It’s easy and quick, and is especially good for basil aioli since the blender chops up the basil nicely.
I really love my Kitchenaid hand blender. I use it a few times a week.
If you are not a fan of making emulsions and aioli, I won’t tell anyone if you doctor up some store bought mayonnaise. 🙂 But consider making your own, since the flavor of homemade is off the charts!
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Basil Aioli
- 8 small yellow potatoes, 1 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling over the potatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
- Scrub the potatoes and put them in a medium pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by about 2 inches. Add the salt and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, 10-14 minutes.
- When the potatoes are done, transfer the pot (DO NOT DRAIN) to the sink and run cold water into the pot to slowly cool the potatoes. When the potatoes are cool, 5-7 minutes, drain them and put them out on a rack to dry. Potatoes will hold for 3-4 hours at room temperature before being roasted.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Move the oven rack to the bottom position.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil onto a baking tray and brush it around to coat the tray. Take two sheets of wax paper and put one potato between them. With a flat bottomed measuring cup or bowl, smash the potato to 1/4 - 1/2 thick. Peel off the top layer of wax paper and brush the potato with olive oil. Put the potato, oiled side down onto the the baking tray. Repeat for the remaining potatoes. You should be able to fit 8-10 potatoes on one baking tray.
- Brush the tops of all the potatoes with olive oil. Roast the potatoes for 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are well browned. Flip the potatoes and roast for 5 minutes more.
For the aioli
- While the potatoes are roasting, make the aioli.
- Place the egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and mustard in the bottom of a cup which fits the head of your hand blender and is tall enough to hold all the ingredients. Pour the oil on top and allow it to settle for about 30 seconds.
- Put your hand blender in the cup right to bottom and turn it on low. Keep it at the bottom until the aioli has begun to form and much of the oil has been incorporated. Now tilt and lift the blender up to get the oil at the top. Add the basil and puree it into the aioli.
- Cheater Aioli: In a food processor, puree mayonnaise with basil, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice.
- Potatoes: You can use red potatoes or white potatoes in place of the yellow potatoes.