IF you thought potatoes could be mashed only with masses of butter and cream, try this for a new vision of that essential accompaniment to the blue-plate special. Baking potatoes, because of their drier flesh, seem to take more kindly to mashing than waxy potatoes. Don't try to mash potatoes with a food processor - they just get gluey.
2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
salt to taste
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Large saucepan, potato masher or similar.
PEEL the potatoes if you wish. Or peel half and leave the other half with the skins on.
CUT the potatoes in half and plunge them into a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Add the whole garlic cloves and cook, covered, until the potatoes are very tender - about 25 minutes
DRAIN the potatoes and garlic well and turn them into a warm serving bowl.
USING a potato masher, mash them coarsely, adding the olive oil a little at a time.
WHEN all the oil has been added, taste and add more salt if needed and an abundance of black pepper.