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Brown Butter & Basil Mashed Potatoes

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

Brown Butter & Basil Mashed Potatoes

Marc J. Sievers

Growing up, my absolute favorite thing to eat (and still is!) were mashed potatoes!  The smell of a big pot of potatoes boiling away always reminds me of family dinners and holidays – the best!  While I still prepare traditional mashed potatoes with just milk, butter, salt, and pepper, I have a new twist on a classic – my Brown Butter & Basil Mashed Potatoes.  These potatoes are filled with browned butter, garlic, spicy basil, nutmeg, and white pepper, making them a welcomed update to the classic version!

You can even make mashed potatoes in advance by keeping them warm in a glass bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap set over a pan of barely simmering water.  They can remain like this for up to 1 hour.  Stir them every 20 minutes to help them maintain an even temperature.  You can add a little bit of warm half and half if they become too thick.  Remember, if making them in advance, stir in the basil just before you serve them, or the basil will turn dark – not a good look!

This recipe is part of “An Autumnal Feast!  A Collection of Recipes from Watermarc – Art & Appetite”.  Explore the other recipes in this series:

Happy cooking!

Brown Butter & Basil Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – 3 pounds, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Garlic – 4 cloves, peeled, lightly smashed
  • Butter – 12 tablespoons, unsalted, at room temperature
  • Half and Half – 1½ cups
  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • White Pepper – ¾ teaspoon
  • Basil – ½ cup, finely minced, fresh
  • Nutmeg – ⅛ teaspoon, freshly grated


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Add the potatoes, return to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes or until tender all the way through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, set over medium-low heat, add the butter and smashed garlic.  Cook until the garlic is golden and the milk solids in the butter have browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Scrape all the browned bits, butter, and garlic into a small blender or food processor.  Add the half and half, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.  Blend until smooth, or about 1 minute.
  4. Pour into a small saucepan and gently reheat.  Once hot, turn off the heat, cover and set aside.
  5. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain them, and add them back into the pan.
  6. Using a handheld mixer fitted with the beater attachment beat the hot potatoes in the pot until they are broken up.  Slowly add the hot half and half mixture and beat until mostly smooth.  They should still have a few small lumps for texture.
  7. Lastly, stir in the fresh basil.  Serve immediately.

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