Alton Brown Tops Mashed Potatoes With Kalamata Olives For A Salty Twist

Alton Brown is anything but conventional and his briny twist on mashed potatoes proves it. Most people who are fans of this creamy side dish have tried garlic mashed potatoes or even a cheesy version of this turkey day favorite; however, if you are looking for a creative way to change up the flavor, Brown suggests giving them a Mediterranean twist by topping them with water-cured Kalamata olives, per Food Network.

This revelation from "The Kitchen" co-host may have you scratching your head in bewilderment. After all, the thought of this savory fruit added to this classic food seems more like a sci-fi riff from the 1950s rather than culinary creativity. But you might be surprised to learn it's not so farfetched of a combo. Kalamata olives have a flavor profile that is tangy and rich while the texture is meaty and slightly firm. They contrast perfectly with the creamy, starchy taste that is synonymous with mashed potatoes. 

Green olives could be too salty

While Brown's proclivity for these dark olives seems uniquely him, the professional chef isn't the only one who likes these fruits in his mashed potatoes. In fact, some people don't just top their mashed potatoes with Kalamata olives, some recipes call for them to be mixed into this dish. The addition of these purple-brown colored olives add a pop of flavor that's worth writing home about. The salty olives are the flourish your mashed potatoes didn't know they needed, enhancing the potatoes' often bland taste. 

What should you serve alongside this concoction? This take on mashed potatoes pairs well with steak or fish. However, not all olives are created the same, and if you find that you do not have any Kalamata olives on hand, popping open a can or jar of those green ones may not be the best idea. Green olives tend to be saltier than other olives, so you may want to adjust the amount of salt you add to your mashed potatoes if you opt for them.