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Potato Basil Puree

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At summer's end, our garden has a lot of basil to be used. Making pesto is a no-brainer. But, this recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavor of fresh basil, by blanching it and then pureeing it with half and half and Parmesan cheese. The color is lovely, and is a terrific side dish to most any kind of meal. Thanks, Ina Garten, for such a great way to enjoy summer basil!


2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 pounds large Yukon Gold or white boiling potatoes
1 cup half-and-half
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic (optional)

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