Pesto Is The Perfect Fresh Sauce For Brightening Up Mashed Potatoes

Milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs — when paired together time and time again, it can seem unimaginable to eat one half of a duo without its classic partner. Yet, if eggs were never seen without bacon, how would we know how great they taste with smoked salmon on a bagel? Although mashed potatoes are almost always paired with gravy, branching out to greener pastures never hurts.

Garlic mashed potatoes are already a match made in heaven. When basil, pine nuts, and olive oil are added to the equation, the dish becomes transcendent. The creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are given an earthier, aromatic flair with the presence of basil pesto. Whether it's homemade or store-bought, pesto sauce is the perfect vegetarian alternative to meat-based gravy.

You could also use sun-dried tomato pesto, which brightens the classic comfort food and turns it into a grown-up take on mashed potatoes and ketchup. Let's explore how to best incorporate the bright and herbaceous flavor of pesto into mashed potatoes.

How to make pesto mashed potatoes

Place your potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cool, salted water. Bring the potatoes to a boil and allow them to cook until tender. Drain the potatoes and place them in a bowl along with butter, salt, pepper, and cream. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes along with the other ingredients until there are no lumps left.

Set the potatoes aside and combine basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Once the ingredients have been blended into a paste, pour the mixture into a bowl along with olive oil and parmesan. Stir everything together and gently fold the pesto into the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle in cheese, salt, and pepper to taste while mixing thoroughly.

For a garnish, top the mashed potatoes off with lightly toasted pine nuts and shredded basil. Serve pesto mashed potatoes with roasted lemon chicken or baked garlic tilapia.