The classic recipe for mashed potatoes :: purè calls for butter, cream, milk…and usually more butter. I wanted to create a lighter version that didn’t compromise the delicious taste. After a few trial and errors, I perfected the recipe for creamy mashed potatoes that are loaded with flavor.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use butter :: burro in my recipes. It’s a natural ingredient that used in moderation can actually have health benefits, like promoting a healthy brain. The key word here is “moderation”, and with mashed potatoes it’s often times exaggerated. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, you know what I am talking about.
I decided to create a “Mediterranean” version, using extra virgin olive oil and substituting the cream with Greek yogurt. I also used buttermilk :: latticello or actually a buttermilk substitute, to add a subtle tangy flavor. I tend to always make the buttermilk substitute since I can make it in five minutes and don’t have to buy a special ingredient that I may not use up. (Side note, I also can’t find it in Italy!) To make a buttermilk substitute, simply mix together a cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for five to ten minutes. When it’s a bit curdled, it’s ready. In cooking, the buttermilk (and buttermilk substitute) will add a subtle tang, while in baking it reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide that will help your sweets and breads rise and be more tender.
Don’t forget the chives :: erba cipollina! Of course, you can make this recipe without them, but chives have a particular affinity with potatoes and add a slightly garlicky and delicate onion-like aroma to this mashed potato recipe. They also add texture. Great chefs always explain that various consistencies and flavor combinations in a recipe help to keep your tastebuds from being bored. I agree!
- 2lbs (900g) potatoes suitable for mashed potatoes, (about 4 large ones), peeled and chopped into pieces
- 1 tablespoon course salt
- 1 cup (240ml) soy milk (or other milk)
- ½ limon, juiced (1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 10 chive blades, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add the salt then the potatoes and cook until you can pierce them with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, put the milk and lemon juice in a cup and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and add them back to the pot. Cook them over low heat, stirring often, until they are partially dried out; around 3-4 minutes.
- Now put the potatoes into the bowl of the stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment* (see note below), mix on speed 3 until the potatoes are broken up into small pieces; about 1-2 minutes.
- Change to the beater attachment and add the extra virgin olive oil. Mix for 10 seconds.
- Add the milk and lemon mixture, Greek yogurt, chives, salt and black pepper. Mix for another 10-20 seconds. Adjust the flavor with salt if needed, and stir again.
- Serve the mashed potatoes with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few more chopped chives. Buon appetito!
- *Be sure to use the paddle attachment first to break up the potatoes because if you start with the beater attachment you may break it! Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.