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Crispy potatoes deserve Green Goddess dressing

Recipe: Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this delicious side dish

The cutest little new potatoes are destined to be paired with the herbs at left: parsley, chives and dill.

The cutest little new potatoes are destined to be paired with the herbs at left: parsley, chives and dill. Kathy Morrison

After so many grey days, I can't get enough green, indoors and outside. And since it's St. Patrick's Day -- and just two days until spring begins -- I thought it appropriate to bring green and potatoes together in a recipe appropriate for any spring dinner.

The potatoes are easy: boiled, then smashed and roasted. Use any waxy potato you like, because they can be cut in half or quarters to make the smashing easier. But the smallest new potatoes are a lot of fun -- the red, yellow and purple mix I used would be ideal for an Easter feast, for example.

Serving the smashed potatoes with Green Goddess dressing is what makes this recipe special. And here is where spring comes into play: Use the freshest, greenest herbs you can find, and preferably a mix of two or three, for a blend of flavors. A fresh lemon, too. Yogurt was my choice for the base of the dressing, but buttermilk, sour cream, crème fraîche or labneh also will work.

The dressing is bright green from all those herbs.

The dressing itself can go on or with plenty of spring dishes. I found it at paired with a very green salad (celery, avocado, salad greens, plus cooked chicken). I'm planning to serve it with grilled salmon later this week.

Crispy smashed potatoes with Green Goddess dressing

Serves 4


For the potatoes:

1-1/2 pounds new potatoes, preferably small, but at least all the same size

Salt and ground black pepper

2-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil that can handle high heat, such as safflower, grapeseed or canola, divided

For the dressing:

3 heaping cups fresh green herbs, including tender stems (parsley, chives, dill, basil, mint, tarragon, cilantro are all possibilities, or a mix)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup of one of these: plain whole milk yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, crème fraîche or labneh

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon drained capers

1 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon


Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Set out a large rimmed baking pan.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and fill it with cold water at least 2 inches above the potatoes. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil an cook the potatoes until very tender but not falling apart. The smallest ones in my mix were done at 15 minutes; the largest took nearly 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them rest there for 5 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing.

In a blender or food processor, place the herbs, mayonnaise, yogurt (or chosen dairy product), capers, garlic and a large pinch of salt.

Grate the lemon zest into the mix, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the ingredients. (Watch for seeds!) Reserve the other half for now.

Crisy smashed potatoes, ready to serve with
Green Goddess dressing.

Blend or process the dressing ingredients at high speed until the herbs are finely chopped and the dressing turns bright green. Taste and add some black pepper, and more salt and/or lemon juice as needed.

Scrape the dressing into a serving bowl or other container and chill until ready to serve.

Back to the potatoes: Brush 1 tablespoon of the high-heat-compatible oil on the surface of the baking pan. Arrange the potatoes evenly on the pan. If any are larger than a golf ball, cut them in half and place them on the pan cut side down. (Very large potatoes can be cut in quarters.)

Grease the bottom of a large drinking glass or a Mason jar with some of the remaining oil. Use it (regreasing as often as necessary) to smash the potatoes into flat more-or-less discs. There will be random pieces that come loose, and that's OK.

Brush the smashed potatoes with the last of the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping the potatoes over at the 20-minute mark to get the other side crispy, too.

Serve warm, passing the Green Goddess dressing at the table.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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