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Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

Butter, potatoes and chives are a winning combo with a good helping of salt and a generous milling of pepper.

Know when the potato is perfectly done by simply pressing down with your thumb on a cooked spud. If it smashes easily, it’s tender and ready to go. Just remember to let the potato cool slightly before touching it. Otherwise you’ll be sorry — and sore.

Tips & Techniques

Slow cooking potatoes in olive oil allows them to take on the flavor of the olive oil and the garlic. Fingerlings pump up the flavor factor, since they are more flavorful than larger potatoes, making them great for simple applications such as these straight-forward smashed potatoes.

  1. Make ahead. The potatoes can be cooked up to two hours ahead and held in the olive oil until ready to smash and serve. The nice thing about poaching potatoes in oil is that once the potatoes are fork tender, you don’t have to mash and serve them immediately. (Mashed potatoes, on the other hand, will become gummy if you don’t drain them and let their steam out immediately). With oil-poached potatoes, the cooked potatoes can sit off the heat in the pot. When you’re ready to serve them, reheat the oil and potatoes before completing the dish.
  2. Waste not, want not. It sounds expensive to cover a pot of fingerlings with oil instead of water, but you don’t have to waste a drop. The oil is so gently heated that it can be used again and again for cooking and flavoring foods. You can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed jar for up to two weeks. Olive oil will congeal, so bring it to room temperature and shake it or stir before reusing.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.
  1. Saucepan. We recommend using a heavy, stainless steel saucepan, though a non-stick saucepan or Dutch oven will work well, too. A four-quart saucepan is a useful tool for everything from poaching potatoes to making oatmeal.
  2. Slotted spoon. A slotted spoon is great for pulling ingredients out of liquids – potatoes out of oil, pasta out of water…you get the picture. Once you have one, you won’t know how you lived without it. Sturdy stainless steel is easy to clean and should last a lifetime.
The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.


Small pot
Strainer over bowl
Slotted spoon

Paper towel

Sauce pan

  • 1 quart olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2 bunches chives, minced

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

Active time: 10 minutes

  1. Set the room-temperature olive oil, potatoes and garlic cloves in a large pot and place over medium-low heat.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Test a potato by pulling out of oil with a slotted spoon and smash gently with thumb to check tenderness. Fish out the rest of the potatoes and garlic cloves and reserve in large bowl. The oil should not boil at any point. If you see bubbles rising, the oil is too hot.
  3. Reserve a 1/2 cup of oil for tomato vinaigrette. Wait to store your excess oil in your fridge or freezer until potatoes are finished since some oil may need to be added to the smashed potatoes in the end for consistency.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper as needed. Crush potatoes and garlic with a fork, removing some of the potato skins, and add a little of the reserved oil as needed for consistency. Fold in the chives.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Ribeye steak with sautéed spinach & smashed potatoes

For a well-balanced meal, grill a filet or ribeye steak and serve with sautéed spinach. Out of spinach?  Use any hearty green.