6 Recipes That Prove Smashed Is the New Mashed

Before obliterating your veggies beyond recognition, those who dig more texture in their food should exercise some restraint and adopt a chunkier approach: what we like to call the "smash."
RACHAEL_RAY_CHEESY_SMASHED_POTATOS_H.jpg

RACHAEL_RAY_CHEESY_SMASHED_POTATOS_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Silky mashed potatoes, pulverized peas and more smooth sides spell out pure comfort, and it's no wonder why  these stick-to-your-ribs instances of mashed glory line our holiday tables year after year. Really anyone can eat them (we mean it, even babies can), but just because you can mash something to a different state of matter, doesn't mean you always should. Before obliterating your veggies beyond recognition, those who dig more texture in their food should exercise some restraint and adopt a chunkier approach: what we like to call the "smash." And we've got the most-smashing ways to do it right here.

Pounding and pureeing and ricing potatoes works when your side of mashed will hold a lake of gravy, but going the smashed route imparts the root veggie side with a whole lot more character. Rachael Ray doesn't get carried away with the mashing of her  Cheesy Smashed Potatoes, which are loaded with cheddar, sour cream and chives for the ultimate year-round side.

Instead of going for mashed, Tyler Florence goes for smashed potatoes too — but not just any. With its zip of citrus and integration of green peas, his  Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon and Pearl Onions is the brightest potato recipe in the game. Roughly crushing skin-on new potatoes gives this super-easy side big texture, so the other vegetables can mingle together, instead of getting swallowed up in something more creamy and buttery.

Giada De Laurentiis' Tagliatelle with Smashed Peas, Sausage, and Ricotta Cheese as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It may not look like it, but Giada De Laurentiis' seasonal pasta dinner also depends on the smashed technique. She mashes cooked peas with the back of a wooden spoon to integrate them into her Tagliatelle with Smashed Peas, Sausage and Ricotta Cheese just right.

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POTATO_SALAD_219.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Adding just three tablespoons of your favorite store-bought pesto or homemade recipe is enough to elevate potatoes from cold-weather comfort to the heights of springtime bliss. Topped off with fresh ricotta or sour cream, Food Network Magazine's Smashed Pesto Potatoes features the herbaceous flavor with a highly chunky texture.

GEOFFREY_Z_GRILLED_SALMON_SMASHED_CUCUMBER_DATE_SALAD_H.jpg

GEOFFREY_Z_GRILLED_SALMON_SMASHED_CUCUMBER_DATE_SALAD_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Peas and potatoes aren't the only vegetables that could use a good smash. Geoffrey Zakarian uses the technique for his refreshing cucumber-date salad; he crushes the cucumbers until the juices leak out, then tosses them with sliced fennel, pitted Medjool dates, chopped walnuts and a simple dressing.

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MASHED_POTATOES_073.tif

Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

Though other recipes might instruct you to wait for the smashing until the potatoes are cooked, Food Network Magazine's recipe for  Bacon-and-Cheese Smashed Potatoes requires a different approach from the get-go. Instead of waiting for a giant pot of water to boil and cooking whole potatoes that way, simply chop raw potatoes, put them in a pot and cover with an inch of cold water. With a little simmering, they'll be ready for the game-changing addition of smoky bacon, sour cream, chives and cheddar.

Get more mashed recipes from our friends in #SensationalSides:

Creative Culinary:  Roasted Carrot and Leek Mash

Taste with the Eyes:  Fun Little Baked Potato Shooters

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