There is a Season with Molly Parr: Crowd-pleasing potatoes: If you’re not smashing your potatoes, you’re missing out

When I made these smashed potatoes last week, 100% of the household enjoyed them.

When I made these smashed potatoes last week, 100% of the household enjoyed them. PHOTO BY MOLLY PARR


For the Gazette

Published: 04-19-2024 11:18 AM

Last column I wrote that I am currently on a pretty limited diet that cuts out certain types of carbs — FODMAP for short (the full acronym stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols). Well, it turns out that a low-FODMAP diet is like living in Passover year-round: no gluten and no legumes, heavy on the animal proteins, and lots of potatoes.

This is all to say that we are still eating well despite my restrictive diet by using some of my tried-and-true Passover dishes, like strawberry quinoa tabouli, cottage cheese pancakes, and a nice herby egg salad, like I had for dinner tonight.

I’m also continually coming up with new recipes that have me saying, “This will work really well during Passover.” There were the homemade fish sticks with the potato chip crust, with an egg dip and then a drag through corn starch or rice starch. (Just use potato starch for Passover.)

On Friday nights, at Shabbat dinner, I tend to serve roasted fish and a starch, which three out of four of us usually eat. However, when I made these smashed potatoes last week, 100% of the household enjoyed them.

I start by boiling small potatoes in salty water until a fork slides through, then quickly draining them, and then plopping all of them onto an oily sheet pan. I drizzle olive oil on top, liberally dress with kosher salt, and toss it altogether. Then, I take a drinking glass and smash each one so they go from spherical to flattened. It takes just a few minutes to do.

I slide them into a preheated oven, and roast them for about 40 minutes, until they are crispy brown discs. Actually, at the 20 minute mark you can add a pan of fish on a separate rack and have both the potatoes and fish done at the same time.

One of my kids eats this with ketchup, while I will often serve this with an herby, thick yogurt sauce. My take on chips and dip, I guess!

Smashed Potatoes


1 ½ pounds of small potatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the potatoes in a large pot, fill with water until the potatoes are covered, and then set it to boil.

Once the water is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt, and let them boil for about 20 minutes — it will be soft enough for a fork to pierce it.

As the water is being brought to a boil, prepare a large, rimmed sheet pan by drizzling oil on to it and spreading it around.

When the potatoes are ready, drain in a colander, then move the potatoes to the sheet pan. Drizzle oil on top of the potatoes, then sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Mix together.

Using a glass, press each potato flat.

Slide pan into the oven for 40 minutes. You’ll know they are ready because they will be a crispy, with a brown crust.

Molly Parr lives in Florence with her husband and two young daughters. She’s been writing her food blog, Cheap Beets, since 2010. Send questions or comments to