Silky mashed potatoes, pulverized peas and more smooth sides spell out pure comfort, and it’s no wonder why these stick-to-your-ribs instances of mashed glory line our holiday tables year after year. Really anyone can eat them (we mean it, even babies can), but just because you can mash something to a different state of matter, doesn’t mean you always should. Before obliterating your veggies beyond recognition, those who dig more texture in their food should exercise some restraint and adopt a chunkier approach: what we like to call the “smash.” And we’ve got the most-smashing ways to do it right here.
Pounding and pureeing and ricing potatoes works when your side of mashed will hold a lake of gravy, but going the smashed route imparts the root veggie side with a whole lot more character. Rachael Ray doesn’t get carried away with the mashing of her Cheesy Smashed Potatoes, which are loaded with cheddar, sour cream and chives for the ultimate year-round side.