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Stellina's potato-basil spread

Makes about 3 cups.

Marc Bouchard of Stellina mixes homemade basil pesto with potato puree and heavy cream. The spread can also be made with commercial pesto.

1½ pounds (about 3 large) Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, and more to taste

½ cup heavy cream

½ clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

1½ tablespoons basil pesto

¼ cup olive oil Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

2 fresh basil leaves

1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with cold water to cover. Add salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer. Drain and leave to cool.

2. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to break them up. Add the heavy cream a little at a time, mashing until smooth.

3. Add the pepper, garlic, lemon, vinegar, and pesto. Mix well. Slowly dribble in the olive oil, mixing to incorporate.

4. Chill the mixture for 2 hours.

5. Transfer the potato spread to a small dish and garnish with oil, pine nuts, and basil leaves. Serve with bread or crackers.

Adapted from Stellina restaurant

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