5 Ingredients or Fewer

Crispy Potatoes with Garlic Mustard Pesto

April 21, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Garlic mustard outcompetes most native spring greens, so thank goodness it is as versatile as it is aggressive. This dish is like eating great French fries. Only, instead of frying, their crisp puffiness comes from steaming, then roasting. Banging up the potatoes before they go in a roaring hot oven yields crunchy crusts and fluffy insides. These dreamy spuds and nutty green sauce also happens to be vegan. Made from just a few ingredients and whizzed together in 30 seconds flat, the sauce is nutty, cheesy, and supple—thanks to toasted pecans and nutritional yeast. And while the pesto is perfect with potatoes, don’t stop there. Especially perfect for Earth Day, this eat-the-weeds sauce goes with everything: pasta, toast, meats or fish, salads, eggs, you name it. Pull garlic mustard up by its roots and feast. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • Crispy potatoes
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and halved
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Flaky salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Garlic mustard pesto
  • 4 cups packed, garlic mustard leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces, toasted until fragrant and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket with a couple inches of water at the bottom of the pan. Cover with its lid and steam over high heat until they are slightly tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Drain any remaining water from the pan, then transfer the hot potatoes back to the pan without the steamer basket. Vigorously swirl the pan to bang the potatoes up. When they look scuffed, transfer them to a baking pan. Generously drizzle them with oil, season with a pinch of salt, and toss to coat.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden, crispy, and puffed. After the 25-minute mark, turn the pieces as needed every 5 or so minutes for even browning.
  4. While potatoes roast, combine all of the pesto ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until uniform. You may want to add more olive oil (I usually use 1 cup total), to achieve a looser, more pourable sauce. (If you do not use the pesto immediately, seal and chill in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to using to come to room temperature.)
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a plate. Season with flaky salt and pepper. Spoon the pesto on top, or drag the potatoes through the sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Caroline Sloat
    Caroline Sloat
  • Tucker & Me
    Tucker & Me
  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
  • Miss_Karen
Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

11 Reviews

Caroline S. April 25, 2023
Perfect timing. I was going out to wage war, er weed, the garlic mustard that had sprouted over the last few days. I will do it with gusto now that I can call it harvesting and turn it into pesto. Thanks, Melina!
Tucker &. March 25, 2023
We have lots of it growing here in Northeastern Vermont. Definitely have seen lots of info about using this invasive in the kitchen. Will definitely try it once the snow melts. Thank you!!
Anne E. September 17, 2022
Dead simple and crazy good. I have done the potato without the sauce to accompany roast chicken or fish-so crisp/creamy without being super high in fat.
Melina H. September 18, 2022
So glad you love this too. Thank you for sharing!
adidamas April 19, 2022
Love the simplicity of this recipe. I made a different pesto recipe based on what I had (roughly, Cookie + Kate's Super Kale Pesto). Cooked the potatoes per the recipe here and they were spectacular. Side salad and we were good to go.
stacy April 29, 2021
How do you find garlic mustard leaves? I live in Northern California and haven't seen them before
Melina H. April 29, 2021
They have become an invasive plant wreaking havoc across the nation, but perhaps your area is not afflicted. Call yourself lucky if so - garlic mustard is a scourge to biodiversity! Google "garlic mustard" and look at images in addition to the one shown in the article associated with this recipe. When blooming, it sends up a long stem. A small spray of white flowers sits at the end of the stem. All parts of the plant are edible throughout stages of its growth.
Melina H. April 29, 2021
Also, on my Instagram page, there is a saved highlight where I show the plants growing in the wild. Hope it'll prove useful to identifying it!
stacy April 30, 2021
Thank you and very interesting. Is there something that we can substitute the garlic mustard with? I can't wait to try this recipe
Miss_Karen April 24, 2023
You could use ramps, if you can find them. D'artagnon.com has them for order.
Melina H. April 24, 2023
Though delicious, ramps will produce a decidedly onion-forward result. This pesto is more nutty/velvety, with a tinge of allium. I really advocate using this plant specifically, as it is extremely invasive and crowding out biodiversity nationwide! It’s pretty straightforward to ID garlic mustard, and there are loads of places via google to lead to success. Once you know, you can harvest with abandon and make this fine sauce.