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CHEESY PESTO MASHED POTATOES

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Ingredients

2.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-4” chunks

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoon cold butter

½-1 cup milk

3 cups shredded cheese (any combo of gruyere, cheddar, Monterey jack, gouda, etc… — I use the leftover ‘cheese ends’ in my fridge)

 

Pesto:

2 cups basil leaves, packed

4 garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

⅓ cup pistachios, shelled

¼ teaspoon salt

1-1  ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the potatoes in a large stock pot (not non-stick) with the chopped onions and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then place them back in the metal pot they cooked in.

While potatoes are cooking, make the pesto.  Place all of the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse several times to combine ingredients and chop basil.  Put the processor on low speed and slowly drizzle the olive oil in the top of the lid until a creamy paste forms.

To the drained potatoes in the pot, add the salt, pepper, butter, and ⅓ cup of the pesto.  Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the potatoes, gradually adding the milk until they have a smooth creamy consistency.  Stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheese and transfer them to a 9 x 13” baking dish.  Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with another ¼ cup of the pesto.  DEVOUR!

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