Monday, April 3, 2017

Cheesy Asiago Pesto Baked Potatoes

Do you ever order something in a restaurant that you love so much you can't stop thinking about it? Asiago Pesto Potatoes are a side-dish offered at a favorite restaurant of mine in Florida. Once I tasted these potatoes they became my obsession.  We love twice-baked potatoes at my house and in my opinion, these fall into that category.  If you are looking for a  twice-baked potatoes recipe that is a little different you'll want to try these.  They are cheesy, garlicky, and packed with basil flavor.  Yum!

Golden, Cheesy, Asiago Pesto Twice-Baked Potatoes


Asiago Pesto Baked Potatoes
Asiago Pesto Potatoes
Naturally, I wanted to find a way to replicate those tasty potatoes.  Fortunately, they are a simple to make potato dish, packed with amazing flavor.  They make a perfect accompaniment to a hearty dish. You can also make them your main course paired with a side salad if you become as addicted to them as I have.
Asiago Pesto Stuffed Potatoes

I decided to start by cutting medium-sized red potatoes in half and go from there.  The rest of the ingredients are simple:  asiago cheese, roasted garlic, basil, and mayonnaise.  I like to use my own homemade basil pesto in this recipe. You can use any prepared basil pesto you like.

You'll see from the recipe that these are not technically twice-baked potatoes.  I start by precooking the red potatoes in a pot on the stove.  I guess I should call them twice-cooked potatoes, but we won't nitpick.

Asiago Pesto Potatoes

Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 16 potatoes
  • 8 medium red potatoes, washed and cut in half
  • 16 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 8 ounces asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions
Place the potato halves in a large pot filled with cold water and the salt.  Bring the pot to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and cool to room temperature.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the cloves of garlic and cook at a very gentle simmer until the cloves are soft and tender.  Use a fork to test for softness. The garlic will add a nice, mellow flavor to your potato stuffing.

Cooking Garlic in Oil
Cook Garlic Cloves until Tender

Remove the garlic from the oil and mash it with a fork.  Reserve the oil for another use.  It will now be garlic flavored and will be delicious in other recipes.

Mashed Garlic
Mash the Garlic
Shred the asiago cheese using a box grater.  Mix the mayonnaise, pesto, and mashed garlic together in a bowl until well combined.  Add the shredded asiago cheese and mix until the mayonnaise mixture is well distributed throughout the cheese.  This mixture will be the stuffing for your potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  With a spoon, scoop some of the potato from the center of each potato half.  You won't use this scooped potato in this recipe.  Place the potatoes in a baking dish.

Potatoes Ready for Filling
Scoop the Centers from the Potatoes
Fill each potato with the cheese mixture, distributing the mixture evenly among the potatoes.  Be generous with the filling.

Stuffed Asiago Pesto Potatoes
Fill Potatoes with Cheese Mixture

Bake the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cheese mixture is melted and a golden brown.
Twice Baked Asiago Pesto Potatoes
Asiago Pesto Potatoes
Oh, the aroma!  Oh, the deliciousness!

I like to make extras of these potatoes so they can go into the freezer.  Just cool your potatoes and wrap the cooled potatoes individually with plastic wrap.  Place the potatoes in a zip-topped plastic bag and freeze until another day.  Just thaw and heat in a 350 degrees F oven for 30-45 minutes.

Your Baking Essentials for this Dish  

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My box grater gets used a couple of times a week because I like to grate my cheese as I need it.
Box Grater

















I like to use a stainless steel frying pan for cooking the garlic.
8" Frying Pan















I love my Emile Henry baking dishes.  I have dark green in several sizes and shapes.
Baking Dish
Emile Henry Oven to Table Baking Dish
















This has been my favorite knife for several years.  I use it for everything.  There's nothing better than a good knife in the kitchen.
JA Henckels 7" Santoku Knife













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Enjoy!
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