Whether you do ham or lamb for Easter dinner, mashed potatoes make a terrific accompaniment. Actually, mashed potatoes are good almost any time, so maybe you’d rather have scalloped potatoes for Easter and save this artichoke-enhanced version of mashed for another time. Of course, plain old butter, milk, salt and pepper mashed potatoes are wonderful all by themselves. But should your soul hanker for a variation, artichokes are just the ticket.
I am the proud owner of a very large jar (thirty-three ounces, to be exact) of marinated artichokes in oil with a few seasonings added. I toss them into salads, or mix them into pasta dishes both hot and cold, or add them to tuna salad sandwiches, or tuck a quarter of an artichoke into an omelet. So handy. Somewhere along the line, I bumped into a pot luck dish of mashed potatoes with artichokes in them, and decided I would give that a try myself.
If you have artichokes canned in water, use those. I like the marinated ones because the oil, most of which I drain off, is fine mixed into the potatoes. If you have the water-canned ones add butter to your potatoes. Actually, you can add butter anyway, to taste. And while I am gilding the lily, I add garlic to the potatoes, too. That is certainly optional.
I suspect there are strong feelings about what potatoes to use. I know some are downright dogmatic about using russets. I’d agree with almost anyone who said waxy reds are not the best choice. I favor an all-purpose potato that I grow called Carola.
So warm up some milk just as you normally would, keep your salt and pepper handy by, mash the potatoes with the artichokes tossed in, stop and taste, decide if it needs butter, or more salt and pepper. If you have some raw spinach, consider chopping it finely and adding that, too. It will make it pretty.
With mashed potatoes, it is better not to get too wound up over exact proportions. Since I use home-grown they are not usually a regular size. I count out as many potatoes as I have people to eat them, and then chuck in a couple extra so I’ll have leftovers for shepherd’s pie or mashed potato cakes. Figure on roughly a quarter cup of artichoke hearts per big potato. Start with half a cup of milk for every four potatoes, and just keep the milk jug nearby in case you need more to smooth it out. Butter, and err on the generous side, salt and pepper all to taste.
- 4 large potatoes
- 1 cup artichoke hearts
- 1-2 cloves garlic optional, pureed
- ½ cup warm milk
- Butter to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain.
- Put the drained potatoes back in the pot and add the artichokes, garlic, and milk and mash thoroughly.
- Taste, add butter, salt and pepper to taste.