Is it just me or are the holidays just around the corner? I always try to make hosting holiday celebrations easier on myself by coming up with a couple of easy side dishes that I can whip up in no time to concentrate on the main event. That’s what inspired these super easy potatoes with pesto. They are perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration and can be made in advance and reheated later.
About the Pesto
I love making pesto because it’s a great way to preserve fresh herbs for later. In this case, I chose to use a combination of green onions and parsley because got a couple of beautiful bunches at the farmers market right before they went out of season.
Since I wanted to highlight the flavor of the green onions and the parsley, I decided to do away with the Parmesan and nuts that go into traditional pesto sauces. You are welcome to add some if you want, but I find that this simplified version complements the potatoes really well.
Why I Like to Boil Potatoes
There are so many different ways to prepare potatoes, so why boil them? In my case, it comes down to wanting to have more control over how they turn out. I find that roasting whole potatoes, even when they are baby potatoes, can be tricky. Some of the potatoes end up being underdone while others burn.
With boiling, you can pierce them with a fork and take out individual potatoes if necessary to avoid overcooking them. I guess you could also do this when you are roasting them but, for some reason, I find it easier to determine when potatoes are really done when I boil them.
I also find that boiled potatoes absorb other flavors better than roasted potatoes, especially if you add them while they are still warm. This recipe is particularly easy in that all you need to add is a few generous pinches of salt when you are ready to serve these potatoes with pesto.
Other Uses for Pesto
This recipe makes about half a pint of pesto, and it freezes beautifully. In addition to making these boiled potatoes with pesto, here are other ways to use it:
- Spoon it over grilled or seared steak just as it comes off the heat
- Mix a little bit into scrambled eggs to give them a burst of flavor
- Spread it on a sandwich (it’s better than mayo!)
- Add it to cooked pasta and have dinner on the table in under 30 min!
- Add a few tablespoons to some softened cream cheese to make a quick dip
How do you use pesto when you have leftovers? Leave a comment below!
Boiled Potatoes with Pesto (V, GF)
These potatoes are boiled and then tossed in a green onion and parsley pesto. They can be made ahead of time and then gently reheated when you are ready to serve them. The pesto can be frozen and used in all kinds of dishes.
- For the pesto (makes about ½ a pint):
- 1 large bunch of Italian parsley with stems, coarsely chopped
- 1 large bunch of green onions, bottoms removed and chopped into large pieces
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- For the potatoes:
- 1 pound of new or baby potatoes, scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons of green onion and parsley pesto (recipe follows)
- Step 1 Make the pesto. Place the parsley, green onions, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times until the parsley and green onions start to break down. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Process until it forms a smooth mixture. Season with pepper to taste.
- Step 2 If you intend to freeze the pesto, transfer it to a clean glass jar and freeze. It will keep for 9-12 months in the freezer.
- Step 3 Make the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with at least an inch of cold water. Bring them to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 min until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
- Step 4 Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot that you used to boil them.
- Step 5 Add 3-4 tablespoons of the pesto and salt to taste and toss to combine.
- Step 6 Serve immediately.
- These potatoes can be made up to 24 hours in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve them. Simply let them cool after adding the pesto and put them in the fridge. When you are ready to serve them, reheat them in the microwave.
Here are other recipes perfect for holiday entertaining:
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Also, if you have any questions or just want to let me know that you liked the recipe, please leave a comment below. Hearing from other adventurous home cooks always makes my day!