Crispy smashed potatoes with zingy sour cream, dill and smokey maple walnuts

I got a lot of requests for recipe when I posted some crispy smashed potatoes on Instagram stories last week. And by a lot, I mean like 2. I just wanted an excuse to keep making and consuming potatoes, and here we are! You all know I like my crispy potatoes – these salt and vinny ones or those crispy kipflers. But today I wanted to incorporate said spuds into a meal based recipe. So, the crispy taters got some accoutrements and a side salad to boot.

This dish is endlessly customisable. As it stands, it is grain and gluten free, FODMAP friendly, and vegetarian. It can also be made vegan and nut free, as we’ll discuss below. 

CRISPY SMASHED POTATOES 

The most important aspect of this dish is, naturally, the potatoes. The variety you choose will impact the final result, both in taste and texture. It will also impact how easily you can smash the potato without it falling apart.

It should be said that I have used waxy and all rounder varieties of potato to much success. Waxy varieties are more likely to break apart when you smash them. All rounders are more likely to be fluffy inside once cooked, kind of like a jacket potato with a crispy exterior. Both work, but you need to cater to the variety you choose. 

In Australia, all rounder varieties include Sebago, Desiree, Nadines and Yukon Gold. Waxy varieties include Nicolas (I used these for this dish) Kipflers, Dutch Creams and Bintjes. 

Honestly, we have a poor selection available when compared with other countries, and neither of the big supermarkets seem interested in introducing variety. I buy my potatoes from a farm gate store or farmers market. Failing that, the health food store. 

Crispy Kipfler Potatoes from www.georgeats.com | @georgeatsCRISPY SMASHED POTATO COOKING TIPS 

  • Firstly, boil the life out of the potatoes in very well salted water. This will make smashing them easier and flavour them from the inside. The oven time will be solely for crisping as opposed to cooking the potato innard, which gives you more control. It also cuts down on oven time. 
  • Secondly,  be generous with the oil. These are crispy potatoes, and they cannot crisp without oil. Personally, I like to preheat the oil for 10-15 minutes in the oven, as per the crispy kipflers. I find that they can soak up a lot of oil if they hit cold oil. However, this glass potato recipe that I’ve eyed for so long disagrees with me, so you can choose what works best for you.
  • Another point of divergence? I like to baste my potatoes with the hot oil so that the tops don’t dry out too much. I don’t want dry or leathery potato tops. Keep in mind that the oven is very hot, so you’ll need to work quickly and protect your hands. 

A close up of a crispy smashed tomato with sour cream dressing and a tomato herb saladRECIPE SUBSTITUTION OPTIONS

  • You can use regular sour cream or lactose free sour cream. Greek yoghurt, lactose free yoghurt and vegan plain yoghurt would also work, but you will need to adjust the flavourings to taste. Greek yoghurt will probably need less lemon juice because it is already acidic, for example.
  • You could use sunflower seeds in place of walnuts for a nut free option. I daresay half a cup would suffice given that they fit together more snugly than walnuts in a measuring cup. 
  • I have used honey in place of maple syrup in this dish, in a pinch. Personally I prefer the maple version, but both are lovely. 
  • Any higher smoke point oil will work. I use olive which isn’t super high compared to others but it’s what I always have on hand.
  • If you don’t like dill, you could use some flat leaf parsley or basil in it’s place. I really recommend the dill option, though. 
  • Too many cherry tomatoes can be an issue for FODMAP averse sorts. If that’s you: A) substitute half the cherry tomatoes with regular, chopped ones or B) see below for some salad bulking options. 

A plate of crispy smashed potatoes with mixed herbs, tomatoes, a sour cream sauce and smokey walnuts. Served on a blue ceramic plate against an olive green backdrop

TO BULK UP THE SALAD A LITTLE:

  • Add some finely chopped rocket or spinach to the herb mix.
  • Chopped cucumbers, extra tomatoes and/or some avocado are all very welcome additions.
  • Too get a bit of protein in there, you could also add some crispy salt and pepper tofu. A filling addition to crispy smashed potatoes, particularly if you need the dish to serve more than 3-4. 
  • I’m not sure how many people are into double carbing, but some cooked quinoa would also be very pleasant stirred through. Make sure you add some extra lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning to suit, though. 

Crispy smashed potatoes with zingy sour cream dressing, smokey maple walnuts and herbs

This dish serves 3-4 as a main and 5-6 as a side.
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the potatoes:

  • 1 – 1.2kg all rounder potatoes see notes preferably small ones
  • Oil to roast (I used olive)

For the zingy maple dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream can be lactose free or a vegan alternative, see notes
  • 2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the smokey maple walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon oil I used olive
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to finish

For the tomato salad:

  • Handful of dill chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes see notes for FODMAP
  • Olive oil to drizzle over
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Finely grated parmesan to taste, optional (I blend it in my Nutribullet to create a dust)

Instructions
 

To make the potatoes:

  • Add the potatoes to a large pot of well salted water and place over a medium high heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes until a knife slides easily through the biggest potato. Retrieve the potatoes with tongs and allow them to steam dry.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F. Once at temperature, pour oil into a large baking tray that is big enough for all your potatoes. Place it in the oven to heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use a large flat bottomed jug (or your hands, depending on how cool the potatoes are) to gently but firmly smash each potato, applying even pressure. Don’t worry if a few bits fall off.
  • Once the oil is preheated, remove the tray from the oven and work quickly to place all your potatoes in the oil in a single layer. Be careful – if they have any residual water on them the oil will spit. Use a pastry brush to baste the top of each potato with oil so it doesn’t become leathery, and place in the oven for 1 hour.
  • These potatoes can be cooked up to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the tops are as brown as you’d like them. Just be sure to keep basting them with oil to prevent them drying out. Use a glove or cover your hand with a tea towel as the oven will be hot.

To make the sour cream dressing:

  • While the potatoes are cooking, combine all ingredients for the dressing and stir to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking.

To make the smokey walnuts:

  • Chop the walnuts into small, pea sized pieces. Heat the oil over a low-medium flame and add the maple syrup, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir with a spatula combine. Add the walnuts and stir to coat, cooking until there is no residual liquid, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

To make the tomato salad:

  • Add the chopped herbs to a bowl and drizzle over enough olive oil to moisten them. Add the lemon juice and seasoning to your taste. Stir through the chopped tomatoes and the parmesan, if you’re using it. See notes for some suggested additions if you’d like to bulk out the salad.

To serve:

  • Once the potatoes are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven and immediately sprinkle with some finishing salt. The salt will cling to the oil while it’s hot, perfectly seasoning your potatoes.
  • Dress the potatoes with the sour cream dressing and sprinkle over the smokey walnuts. Serve with the tomato salad. Best served warm.

Crispy potatoes with sour cream dressing, smokey maple walnuts and a tomato salad, all intermingled on a white ceramic plate against a wooden backdrop

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