Roasted garlic makes a wonderful appetizer spread and adds bold flavor to salad dressings, mayonnaise, and vegetables. These roasted garlic mashed potatoes are another excellent example of the versatility of this ingredient, adding a sweet nuttiness to the time-honored side dish.
If possible, leave the peels on the potatoes for the extra color and texture (not to mention nutrition) they provide. This recipe makes enough for a big family meal or holiday dinner and pairs beautifully with roast turkey or chicken as well as beef or pork. If you find yourself with leftovers, you can use them for shepherd's pie, cottage pie, or hamburger casserole.
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes (or Yukon Gold)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or more, to taste)
- 3/4 cup milk (or as needed)
- 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
- Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste)
- Optional: chopped fresh chives or parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Slice about 1/2 inch off the top of each head of garlic. Leave the roots intact and remove most of the papery skin off the outside of each head of garlic. All the cloves of garlic should remain connected to the root.
Place the 2 heads of garlic on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic, encasing it completely. Place the foil package on a baking sheet and bake the garlic for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The garlic cloves should be very tender and lightly browned. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the garlic is baking, prepare the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and peel if you prefer. Cut them into chunks.
Place the potato chunks in a large saucepan; add water until it hits 1 inch above the potatoes. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the water.
Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the potatoes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan; cook for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted.
Transfer the hot drained potatoes to a large bowl; add the hot milk and butter mixture. Mash the potatoes by hand with a potato masher until fairly smooth.
Squeeze the garlic cloves into a medium bowl and mash until smooth. Add the mashed garlic to the potatoes and blend well.
Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. If you like a looser consistency, add extra milk or cream.
- It is best to use cold water when covering the potatoes and preparing to boil. This way, the outside of the potato cooks at the same pace as the inside.
- Overmixing potatoes can result in a gummy, glue-like texture, so it's best to mash by hand. If you do use an electric mixer, keep it on low speed and mix just until the potatoes are blended.
Which Potatoes Are Best for Mashing?
The type of potato you choose for mashing will depend on what type of mashed potatoes you prefer. When it comes to getting the creamiest mashed potatoes, Yukon Gold is the variety of choice. Its dense and uniform flesh isn't grainy or mushy, and the natural buttery flavor lends itself to mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes like red potatoes will need more mashing time to remove the chunks but are great at absorbing other flavors and therefore ideal for roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Russets make for a light and fluffy dish.
- For a richer mash, use half-and-half instead of milk or use part heavy cream with the milk.
- For a pleasantly tangy flavor, use 1/2 cup of heated milk and 1/2 cup of sour cream.
Can I Make Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time?
Since mashed potatoes are often a part of a multi-dish meal, making them right before sitting down to eat isn't always ideal. Luckily, there are a few ways to reheat the side dish so it tastes like it was just prepared. The mashed potatoes can be placed in a bowl and set over a pot of simmering water to reheat, or covered with plastic wrap that has holes poked in it and then microwaved. They can also be placed in a crock pot to keep warm. No matter how you reheat the mashed potatoes, if they're going to be refrigerated beforehand, don't include all of the butter when making them and save a couple of tablespoons for adding when warming them up.