I’ve been playing it too safe here.
I have a tendency to default to “people pleaser” in my life because I’m naturally very conflict avoidant, often to my own detriment. So, for a few different reasons, I’m making an effort this year to work on that.
And one of the simplest ways to do that is to allow myself to make, create & share what I really want, rather than censor myself or feel like I have to constantly stay in “my” lane… whatever the hell that means.
There are two different elements to this: first, that I have been feeling a little stuck in my “only AIP recipes” bubble after 5 years or so here. (Mostly because I’m sick of telling myself “no” whenever I have a fun, non-AIP recipe idea.) Secondly, as a non-American living in the US but writing predominantly for a US audience, I have often found myself questioning whether a recipe I love is too “weird” to share here.
But the end result of that is I worry too much about what people want… which is honestly impossible to provide in the first place! People have & will always ask me for different things and I likely would never be able to meet all of those conflicting needs & desires, anyway.
While I’m definitely not going to stop sharing AIP recipes and feeding that community, I’m allowing myself to expand on the kind of recipes I share here. For the sake of my creativity and happiness, it’s really time for me to make that change because it will allow me to keep feeling inspired, rather than overwhelmed and torn in too many different directions at once.
And as someone who loves bold flavors, fun ingredients and adventurous eating, that is really going to help me feel both that this little corner of the internet reflects me better… and less like it’s as simultaneously scary and silent as it has felt recently.
Can you believe that in the six years or so I’ve been putting recipes on the internet…. this is the first one to feature real potatoes? Or peas, come to think of it. Because – gasp! – they’re a legume!
But they’re also brilliantly vibrant and scream of Spring to me. Maybe it’s their cheerful hue or the delicious, literal pop of subtle sweetness that happens when you bite into them. But I love them. Here, they’re the perfect contrast to the earthy, rich & crisp smashed potatoes. Somehow, they manage to liven up an otherwise standard Winter’s day dish just by their presence alone. But since peas play so beautifully with fresh herbs, they drag the humble spud fully into the sun in this dish, studded with tangy yogurt and strewn with plenty of mint, parsley & chives.
These Spring Smashed Potatoes are exactly the kind of food I love: bold but nuanced, layered but not complex, adventurous & unapologetic. Simple, fresh, delicious… but never dull. And I think this place could use a few more recipes along those lines, don’t you?
Honestly, I have a suspicion that perhaps no one will really notice this change other than myself. I’ll still be writing allergy friendly, AIP recipes or giving notes on how to make changes to dishes for different needs and preferences wherever I can.
Mostly, I’m giving myself the gift of freedom here in this space. I’d like to think that many of you aren’t just here for specific diets and that there’s something about my approach to flavors that just jives with yours. And if that’s true, there’s going to be lots more “me” here… which may just be what we were both missing, after all.Print
Lemony Spring Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Peas & Yogurt
These zesty lemon smashed potatoes are crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle and all tangled up with bright peas & herbs for a lighter, Spring-y take on spuds.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: side
- Method: oven
- 2 lbs / 900 g baby creamer potatoes, about 1 1/2 inch / 4 cm
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml fresh lemon juice, about 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup / 150 g frozen peas
- handful each chopped parsley, mint & chives
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml dairy free yogurt of choice, I used coconut
MARINADE: Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C with a baking sheet on the middle rack. Zest one of the lemons before squeezing for juice and reserve the zest for later, covered with a little plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Juice the lemons and combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper in a bowl, tossing to coat.
ROAST: Once the oven comes to temperature, spread the marinaded potatoes out in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet, drizzling them with any marinade left in the bowl. Roast for 30 minutes & remove from the oven to a trivet.
DEFROST: While the potatoes are in the oven, pop the peas into a bowl with plenty of room and cover them with about an inch / 2.5 cm or so of room temperature water. Set aside to defrost. If the water re-freezes, drain the now cold water and top off again.
SMASH: Use a spoon to gently squish each now tender potato – careful of the hot baking sheet! – so that they lay flat on the sheet, then return them to the oven to roast for 10 minutes.
CRISP: Carefully flip each smashed potato over and, if you like, for extra crispy potatoes, mist them lightly with a little extra olive or avocado oil in a spray. (I like something without propellants, like this). Return the potatoes to the oven and roast until crisp on the outsides and fluffy in the middle, about another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest them on the tray for a few minutes to cool slightly.
TOSS: Drain the defrosted peas through a strainer, then add them straight to the hot baking sheet with the potatoes. Drizzle with extra olive oil, lemon juice or salt if you like, then toss to warm through gently.
PLATE: Transfer the smashed potatoes & peas to a platter and top with the reserved lemon zest, chopped herbs and dollops of yogurt just before serving.
I like to cook frozen peas barely at all, since they’re blanched before being frozen and so are already part-cooked. Here they just get a quick warm through on the hot baking sheet to keep that lovely fresh pop when you bite into them. If, however, you like your peas with a little more cook time on ’em, cover them with some just-boiled water for a minute or so, then drain and toss them with the potatoes per the recipe above.