Mashed potatoes are a great side dish any time, but are especially good when gravy is involved in a meal, which is why I always make sure that they make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner. I do this even if I have other sides, because there are usually plenty of people around to eat it. To go with my garlic-themed menu, I whipped up a batch of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Roasted garlic has a sweet, rich garlic flavor that is much milder and less aggressive than nonroasted garlic. This means that the mashed potatoes will have a good flavor, but it will be relatively subtle and won’t leave you reaching for a container of mouthwash after dinner. It also means that the potatoes will still blend in well with other elements of the dinner without overpowering them with garlic.
The potatoes are easy to make and all you really need to do is mash a few cloves (or a whole head!) of roasted garlic into the potatoes as you mash them. This recipe is very rich in butter, but I often cut back to just a few tablespoons and increase the amount of milk for an “everyday” version of the potatoes, as opposed to a more indulgent “special occasion” version!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 large head garlic
2 1/2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 – 1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the very top off of the garlic head and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in a 350F oven and roast for 60-75 minutes, or until garlic is very tender. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel potatoes and chop into medium-sized pieces. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until potatoes are fork-tender (Will slide easily off a fork).
Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash lightly, then add in butter and continue to mash potatoes until butter is well incorporated. Squeeze garlic cloves from head of garlic and add to pot. Mash in garlic, stirring to distribute evenly. Add in enough milk to bring the potatoes to desired consistency (more milk for creamier potatoes, less for drier potatoes). Stir in salt and pepper.