Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I found these potatoes listed in the Thanksgiving 2016 section in my Thanksgiving edition of Food Network Magazine. These potatoes are a bit putzy what with having to roast the garlic, make the cheese and rosemary shards and then finally boil up the potatoes. But, I will tell you that they are every bit worth the effort. These potatoes do not need any gravy because they stand alone. They are perfectly garlicky, cheesy and salty. They may be the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had or eaten. I may proclaim that same statement every year at Thanksgiving as  I usually try a new mashed potato recipe every year. But I swear this recipe trumps all prior statements and opinions.


  • 1 head garlic
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ¼ c. grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 sprig rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon chopped leaves
  • 2 ½ lbs russet potatoes (4 to 5 medium), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • ½ c. mascarpone cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice off about 1/4 inch from the top of the garlic. Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in the foil, place on a baking sheet and roast until the garlic is soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, spread 1 cup parmesan in a thin layer on a baking sheet (use a silicone mat if you have one; I used parchment paper and it worked OK); sprinkle with the chopped rosemary. Bake until golden and bubbling, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and then rinse the potatoes well with cold water to get rid of any excess starch. Cut into smaller pieces and then transfer the potatoes to a saucepan; cover with cold water by 1 inch, season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. You should be able to stick a fork into a piece and the peice should fall from the fork but not split the piece in half.
  3. Let the garlic cool slightly, then unwrap and squeeze the cloves out of the skins into a small saucepan. Add the milk, butter and rosemary sprig. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot over low heat; cook until any excess water evaporates, about 2 minutes. Strain the milk mixture into the pot with the potatoes, pressing on the solids. Add the olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt and mash well with a potato masher. Fold in the mascarpone and the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl; crumble the crispy parmesan on top before serving.

I ended up doing this recipe in steps. I roasted the garlic and made the parmesan crisps hours before I cooked up the potatoes. Because the turkey occupied the oven for over two hours, I only had 30 to 45 minutes to wrap up all my side dishes so all food could be placed onto the table at the same time (after removing the turkey from the oven). Since step one of the potatoes is to roast the garlic for about 50 minutes, I knew I wouldn’t have time for it all if I held off until the turkey was roasted. You see that’s the bummer about having only one oven! I have always dreamed of having a double oven. When I lived in Portland I had the next best thing: two next door neighbors who had no problems letting me use their ovens on holidays. It was quite convenient when cooking elaborate holiday dinners.

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