Crispy smashed fingerling potatoes recipe, oven baked then drizzled with a basil pesto or an Italian style parsley basil chimichurri sauce, heavy on the garlic and balanced by a fresh squeeze of zesty lemon.
Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
Boiled until tender then gently smashed and roasted coated in olive oil until perfectly crispy all around the edges where the flesh was exposed. As soon as they come out of the oven you want to generously douse them with a luscious garlicky sauce like basil pesto, chimichurri or a simple garlic infused olive oil.
The idea here is to make a sort of hearty but easy French fry style potato but without deep frying; nor having to spend too much time on prep work like cutting and soaking a bunch of potatoes. They are perfect served as a finger food appetizer, side dish or tossed together in a warm salad with a garlicky pesto dressing.
The Fingerling Potatoes
Sought after for both their excellent flavor and perfect texture for roasting, fingerlings don’t need to be peeled, just a quick scrub and rinse will do. They vary in color from yellow, red and deep purple and their perfect size helps cut down on prep work. I prefer using the buttery yellow variety for roasting and love mixing up the different colors in a salad for some drama. If need be they can be easily swapped for baby reds or yukon gold potatoes.
How To Make Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes
- Scrub and rinse the potatoes.
- Boil in salted water until tender.
- Drain and allow to steam dry.
- Smash – Transfer to an oiled rimmed baking sheet and carefully smash each potato until flattened.
- Roast – Brush with olive oil, season with salt flakes and roast until golden crispy flipping half way.
- Sauce – Serve hot with a garlicky pesto, chimichurri or sauce of your choosing.
- Parsley basil pesto or chimichurri sauce (technically a pesto without the nuts)
- Sun dried tomato or this chive pesto
- Lemon, parsley and garlic olive oil
- Marinated artichoke hearts & roasted peppers
- Spicy jalapenos or mild peperoncini
- Crispy smokey tempeh bacon bits
- Violife parmesan cheese + fresh herbs
- Dairy free sour cream or yogurt dressing
- Olive tapenade.
Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- 2 lb fingerling potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Basil Pesto or Italian Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves only
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + more as needed
- 1/2 lemon squeezed + more to taste
- 6 cloves garlic grated
- sea salt + red chili flakes to taste
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts (for Pesto only)
- Scrub and rinse the fingerling potatoes well. Transfer to a medium pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Season with a heavy pinch of coarse salt and boil about 12 minutes until cooked through.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry in their own steam.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450”F.
- Oil the bottom of a rimmed baking dish and place the potatoes on top without touching each other. (If you have a cast iron pan this is when you want to use it)
- Use a potato masher, flat spatula or a flat bottom glass and gently smash each potato until flattened. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and chili flakes.
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated 450”F oven for 25 minutes flipping them halfway using a small spatula.
Prepare the Pesto / Chimichurri
- Add the parsley, basil, olive oil, lemon juice and grated garlic (+ nuts if making pesto) to a food processor and using the pulse button process until combined but with a little texture. Add more olive oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl and adjust seasonings with sea salt, chili flakes and more lemon juice. At this point you can even add more garlic if desired.
- Drizzle the crispy roasted fingerling potatoes with the pesto / chimichurri sauce and enjoy promptly.
- Pesto vs Chimichurri - technically one contains nuts the other one doesn't. I decided to do a basil parsley garlic fusion without the nuts. You could of course add some pine-nuts or walnuts, use only basil leaves or go a different direction altogether with onion chives, sun dried tomatoes or even a black olive tapenade..
- Should I Boil the Potatoes? - Absolutely! In order to achieved a perfectly crisp potato on the outside without drying the center it is mandatory that the potatoes are boiled first. You'll be happy you did!