Potatoes might not seem to you like high spring fare, but in some parts of the country it has been 40 degrees and gray all weekend; warm, not-quite-mashed potatoes are just about perfect. I like to stir sauteed leeks, garlic and artichoke into the potatoes, to both add flavor and make the dish less dense. Leeks—which are still in season in some parts of the country (Missouri, Illinois), according to Epicurious—are low-fat, low-calorie and a good source of iron, vitamins A, B6, B9 (folate), C and K, and antioxidant polyphenols. Artichokes (currently growing in California, Arizona, New Hampshire and Vermont) are also low-cal, and are high in potassium, vitamin C, folate, fiber and antioxidants.
Once everything is cooked, I keep these vegan by adding a little unsweetened almond milk and Smart Balance spread. Then you just smash, salt and serve.
Recipe: Smashed Potatoes With Garlic, Artichokes and Leeks
• 4-5 pounds organic red or yellow potatoes, peeled and halved
• 3-4 leek stalks, sliced
• 1 bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 to 1 cup artichoke hearts
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 4 tbsp smart balance or other vegan margarine
• 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp (olive, walnut, grapeseed or flaxseed) oil
• salt + pepper to taste
1. Boil water in large, lidded pot. Peel and slice potatoes, and had to boiling water. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Preparation:
2. While potatoes are cooking, wash leeks and cut edible part into slices. Peel and chop garlic. Heat oil in large skillet, and add leeks, garlic and artichokes. Saute until leeks and artichokes are tender, and garlic soft. (You may want to use your spatula or whatever to chop any large artichoke, leek or garlic pieces into smaller pieces while in the skillet, so it mixes in easier with the potatoes). Optional: Add fresh lemon juice while vegetables are sauteeing.
3. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add almond milk and margarine. Smash potatoes with a large masher or whatever you’ve got. Mix shouldn’t be chunky, but not whipped-smooth, either.
4. Stir in leeks, artichokes and garlic. Mash everything again. Salt and pepper to taste.