Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.

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Where would we be without potatoes?  No fries, no tater tots, no hash browns.  Indeed, the world would be a sad place without them.  And according to Matt Damon in “The Martian,” potatoes and enough math can save your life on Mars.  This quick recipe for Warm Smashed Potatoes is perfect for weekday dinners, with a nice briny counterpoint from the vinegar and capers to punch it up a bit.

Capers – It’s No Mystery

Based on my extensive research of Wikipedia, capers are the edible flower buds of a bush whose origin is not entirely clear (clearly it was aliens).  The plants themselves are well adapted to areas with high temperatures and low moisture, such as northern Africa and parts of the Mediterranean.  Most people will encounter them as little green balls resembling peas sitting in brine in tall narrow bottles.  I’m not sure why they come in bottles that shape, but I have yet to see them offered any other way.  They are pretty salty, which plays well with the potatoes.  And I really like the briny taste they bring.  When combined with the mustard and the sharper notes of the shallot, I think they add a nicely rounded flavor to the final product.  Slightly tangential to this recipe, if your local store has an olive bar, be on the lookout for caper berries.  These are pods that contain immature capers, and they are delicious.  They have a slightly crunchy texture, and taste something like a cross between pickles and olives.  I love them.

Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.

HULK SMASH (potatoes)!

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t like the name of this recipe.  Sometimes it’s just fun to smash things.  In this case, it’s potatoes, and while they don’t put up much of a fight, it might give you some stress relief at the end of the day to smash some spuds.  The goal is to break the pieces down into something that’s easy to pick up on your fork.  You’re not looking for the super smooth consistency of classic mashed potatoes, but you want it more broken up than a potato salad.  The back of a spoon is a perfect tool for this.  You’ll end up with larger chunks held together by their more smashed brethren.  This uneven texture is fantastic for holding on to sauces, such as that you get with sauerbraten or ribs, so be sure to ladle on your favorite sauce nice and thick, and use these potatoes to mop it up.

This recipe is best served warm, but it’s no slouch if you eat it cold the next day for lunch.  Feel free to make it ahead of time and give it a quick jaunt in the microwave to warm it up.  We hope you enjoy this quick, hearty side.

-Ross

Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.

Warm Smashed Potatoes with Mustard & Caper Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ lb medium yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain or coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped drained bottled capers
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 large)
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes. Your average potato should be cut into quarters, but smaller ones are ok just halved.
  2. Place your potatoes in a large pot, then fill with cold water until they are submerged by about 2" of water. Add a couple generous doses of salt to the water, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Hold at a simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until just tender (can be split easily with a fork).
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together mustard through shallot, then add the oil slowly while whisking.
  5. Drain the potatoes and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes. Smash them with the back of a spoon or a potato masher (that's what it's for!). Do not try to get a completely uniform, smooth texture, these are supposed to be a bit rustic.
  6. Add the dressing and fold to combine. Best served warm.
Notes
Adapted from Epicurious

We love these warm smashed potatoes with sauerbraten for a cozy Oktoberfest meal!

Sauerbraten - German Pot Roast

Warm Smashed Potatoes pair perfectly with a salty-savory Mustard and Caper Vinaigrette, giving you a hearty side to any fall meal.

5 Comments on Warm Smashed Potatoes with Mustard & Caper Vinaigrette

  1. Now this sounds FAB. I love capers.. I put them in all kinds of things! (I’ve also seen them in squat jars– I like those better because it’s easier to get them out!) Whenever I buy capers, the cashier usually goes– “I’ve been wondering what those are… what are they?!?!” I usually tell them they taste like a cross between a pickle and an olive. Love this!!

    • Thanks so much! I’m jealous that you have the squat jars. About the only measuring spoon I can fit in the narrow one is 1/4 tsp, which makes it tedious to get out any reasonable volume. I suppose I could eyeball it, but that’s just not my nature.

  2. This looks lovely. But at what point do you put in the vinegar and capers? They are in the ingredient list but not in the method. I assume they whisked in with the mustard and shallot stage before the oil is added? 🙂

    • Thanks! You are correct on the method. You definitely want the vinegar to make it into the dressing, and I like the add the capers there as well to get some of that brine flavor throughout. But if you want to keep your capers a little prettier, you can add them before the final mix.

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