Herb roasted smashed potatoes with herbed mayo-yogurt dip
It’s nice to spend a day in the kitchen. I have been so diligent with hiking recently that my kitchen is beginning to feel neglected. You couldn’t tell that from last weeks 6 new posts though. I must be cooking more than I think.
The hiking has been a return to a true love of the mountains. In Calgary I belonged to a hiking club and for years went out on weekdays and weekend and hiked some of the most beautiful and challenging trails in the Rockies. The last three years though have been a transition, from the home I loved, the city where I developed lifelong friendships and from what was home for many years. We have since moved to Kelowna and I am trying to find my niche in this new and beautiful valley that I now call home. We have always expected to move here someday, but perhaps not so soon.
I am always at home in the kitchen and that hasn’t change, although I do miss my Trail’s End kitchen, that special place where I spent so many hours every day preparing our meals, experimenting, learning and enjoying myself. The Kelowna kitchen is also beautiful, not as large as my home kitchen but has beautiful features and appliances. To make life more interesting we built an outdoor kitchen on the rooftop patio where I can have fun cooking outdoors in the spring, summer and fall.
It has also taken a while to get used to living in a smaller town without the resources, art and culture that a larger city offers, not to mention without my friends. But, as it is with everything else, I am slowly getting used to it and finding the special things that make the Okanagan such a charming place to live in. Hiking turned out to be one of the activities that makes me grateful to be here. Not that we have the majestic Rockies here, but, within minutes from my rooftop abode I can be with my hiking boots on the ground on a beautiful trail leading up some mountain and affording stunning views of the Okanagan Lake. In Calgary, to reach the Rockies I would have had to drive an hour or more to get to the trailhead.
So I am finding what works and incorporating it into my routine. I have to pace myself though. Being an all or nothing kind of gal, I totally immersed myself in this renewed pursuit and it’s talking me out of the kitchen.
So I am home today and having fun in the kitchen.
Dinner is one thing, but I love to snack on good food and like to have it on hand. These little potatoes, steamed, smashed and roasted with olive oil and herbs, make a delicious and fun little snack and a great party appetizer that is within anybody’s skill level and budget. Potatoes right now are sweet and buttery and you can put this dish together in no time. Call your friends to come over and have an impromptu gathering on your patio. Why not? It doesn’t have to be a full dinner every time.
As an appie I serve the roasted smashed potatoes with a dip flavoured with the same herbs they are roasted with. This time is was thyme and chives but try rosemary with parmesan or oregano with lemon zest. I used both fresh and dried thyme (I had dried thyme leftover from last fall harvest, I dry my herbs at the end of the season and used them throughout the winter) and fresh new chives from my garden.
12 small white or red potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme
A few springs fresh thyme
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1.2 cup yogurt or sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped herbs (thyme, parsley, chives, chive flowers)
Steam the potatoes until tender and let cool until you can handle them.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the potatoes from the pot and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss the potatoes around to coat them with the oil.
With the heel of you hand or with a potato masher press down on the potatoes to smash them. Arrange the smashed potatoes on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, plenty of herbs and paprika.
Roast the potatoes in 400F oven until golden and crisp, about 20 -25 minutes, but watch that they don’t burn.
To make the herb mayo combine the mayo and yogurt, add the lemon juice, mustardgarlic, salt and pepper. Add the herbs and mix them in. Let the mayo sit for 30 minutes to longer so the herb flavour permeates the sauce.
Serve the hot potatoes with the herb mayonnaise.