Super crunchy smashed potatoes with vegan rocket and almond pesto
Gluten free, vegan, dairy free, FODMAP friendly
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4 people
FOR THE ‘PESTO:’
- 100 g rocket
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of toasted almonds I toasted the almonds for 10 minutes in an 180 degree oven
- 1 cup of olive oil
FOR THE CRISPY SMASHED POTATOES
- 1.5 kg all rounder potatoes tending towards the floury side (I used Sebago, but see notes or Google a suitable varietal in your country)
- Oil for baking I used olive, but vegetable would also work
- Fine salt for sprinkling
TO MAKE THE PESTO:
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender. If you’re using a Nutribullet (like I do) make sure the nuts are cooled first, and layer the ingredients. Layering them (nuts, rocket, nuts, rocket) makes the blending time a lot quicker. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE CRISPY POTATOES:
Cover the potatoes (wash them first if necessary) in salted water and place over a medium high heat until cooked through. This will depend on the size of potato you buy – mine were quite large and took around 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are cooked through, allow them to slightly – enough that you can smash them up and get your hands involved if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Once the oven is heated, place a thin, just covering the bottom layer of oil in the bottom of your baking tray. Allow the oil to heat through for around 10-15 minutes. For extra crispy results, use two trays. For EXTRA crispy results, you’d cook half a batch at a time, but that’s illogical and ridiculous so here we are.
While the oil is heating, smash the cooled potatoes into bite sized chunks. Some size variation is ok, but for even cooking make sure they’re roughly the same size.
Place the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes before checking on them and carefully turning them and moving them around for even heat distribution. Allow to continue cooking for another 30 or so minutes (again, heavily dependent on your potato size) until super crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the oven when ready, and drain on paper towel or however you like to do it. You can save the oil for general cooking or more baked potatoes.
Generously sprinkle the potatoes with fine salt (it clings best to potatoes) and pepper if you fancy. Dollop over as much pesto as you fancy (I used roughly half the batch) and serve immediately. You can add whatever you like to these – some herbs, greens, olives and/or capers would all be delicious.