5 Ingredients or Fewer

Crispy Potatoes with Garlic Mustard Pesto

April 21, 2021
1 Rating
Photo by Melina Hammer
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

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
  • stacy
When she's not writing, cooking, styling, and shooting her forthcoming cookbook - out Spring 2022 with Ten Speed Press - Melina makes food look its best for the New York Times, Eating Well, Edible, and other folks who are passionate about real food. She grows heirloom+native plants and forages wild foods at her Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. There, Melina prepares curated menus to guests seeking community, amidst the robust flavors of the seasons.

4 Reviews

stacy April 29, 2021
How do you find garlic mustard leaves? I live in Northern California and haven't seen them before
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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