Ina Garten's Lemony Pureed Potatoes Are the Coziest Winter Side Dish

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No matter what we cook in the winter, there’s one side dish that always seems to be a big hit: potatoes. Roasted or smashed, fried or mashed, potatoes are the perfect complement to our favorite winter foods, from hearty beef stew to juicy roasted chicken. And we’re in good company. Ina Garten loves potatoes, too. In fact, the Barefoot Contessa star has more than 40 potato recipes on her website, and more in her cookbooks. But her most elegant potato recipe of all is also one of the simplest: Ina Garten’s 4-ingredient puréed potatoes with lemon.

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So what makes this recipe, from Garten’s Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, so luxurious? It’s all about the texture, and the sunny lemon flavor.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

One of our only gripes with the heavy foods of winter is that they’re usually begging for a little bit of brightness to cut through the richness, and the lemon zest in Garten’s potato recipe adds just what we’re craving. Garten calls for the zest of two lemons, but don’t be afraid to add a spritz of lemon juice to the potatoes right before serving to really add a kick of citrus.

Then, there’s the texture. These potatoes aren’t mashed, smashed, or whipped — they’re puréed in a food mill. A food mill might seem like an old-fashioned tool, but it’s perfect for potatoes, because it gets them smooth without making them gluey or gummy, which is what happens if you try to purée potatoes in a food processor or blender.

Courtesy of OXO.

We also love using a food mill to make everything from homemade tomato sauce to cranberry jelly and various jams, so it’s worth adding one to your collection of kitchen tools if you cook a lot.

All that’s needed to enhance the silky texture of the potatoes is butter, milk, the aforementioned lemon zest, and salt and pepper. It’s a side dish that’s worth so much more than the sum of its parts, and once you start using your food mill, you might say goodbye to your rusty potato masher forever.

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