All ours

I was standing in the kitchen the other night, pressing garlic to add to a pan of mashed potatoes, when I realized everything for dinner had come from our garden. 

There was garlic—I planted two long rows last fall, just after Sally was born. I pulled the heads a few weeks ago, when the tops started to yellow and fall over, after we cut the scapes, and dusted them off and brought them in. I cured them in the basement next to the dehumidifier, and this week, I trimmed them and peeled off the purple- and dirt-bruised skins.

There were potatoes—new potatoes from the patch we planted in mid March. They were leftovers, boiled and put in the fridge, and now mashed and pan-fried with butter and garlic.

There was also zucchini—from last year's garden, pulled from the freezer upstairs to make room for this year's batches. It was shredded for zucchini bread, but we had company and I was worried we wouldn't have enough potatoes, so I mixed it in to stretch them.

There was a salad of arugula, carrots, and radishes.

And it was all ours! It made me grin.


There is nothing fancy about this dish; it's comfort food, through and through. I made it with leftover boiled new potatoes and very fresh garlic. If your garlic is older, you may need to use more—I find the flavor is stronger when it's fresh.

3-4 tablespoons butter
2 pounds potatoes, diced, cooked til fork-tender, and drained
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
2 large cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and squish them a bit. (I used a pastry cutter, but you probably have a better tool.) Mix in the zucchini and the garlic and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring every once in a while, for 15-20 minutes. The potatoes should get a little bit crispy in spots, but mostly stay soft—like underdone homefries. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.


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All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.