Crushed and Fried Potatoes with Crispy Herbs and Garlic
"Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables"
“Jacques Pépin made this dish popular, but you know it was developed by some frugal cook centuries ago, who simply wanted to use leftover potatoes and ended up creating a sublime experience of crisp and creamy potatoness.” —Joshua McFadden in his 2018 Beard Award–winning cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
- 1 1/2 pounds small medium-starch potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
- 4 lemon wedges
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until fully tender when poked with a knife, about 30 minutes, depending on how big they are.
Let the potatoes cool enough so that you can handle them, then crush each one with your palm or the back of a pan. You want to create a patty shape, with lots of craggy surface area to crisp up in the hot oil. If you have larger potatoes, tear them up into smaller pieces after smashing.
Heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a large skillet until quite hot. Put a corner of a potato into the oil to test the heat; if it sizzles nicely, the oil is ready. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until nicely browned on one side. Flip and cook until both sides are browned, about 5 minutes total, but about 30 seconds before the potatoes are done, toss in some of the garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. Continue frying the potatoes, scraping out the bits of garlic and herbs between batches so they don’t burn.
Season with salt and black pepper and the chile flakes. Serve with a lemon wedge for each diner.
Excerpted from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Laura Dart and A.J. Meeker.