Smashed Potatoes with Zahtar and Toum (Garlic Whip)


Smashed Potatoes with Zahtar and Toum (Garlic Whip)

By Suzyo Changa

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to cook and spend time with loved ones. We all meet in the kitchen cooking up our favorite dishes. This recipe makes for a great side dish and will have your guests wanting more!

The Toum sauce is for those garlic lovers like myself. It complements your roasted turkey and other condiments, adding a zesty and garlicky flavor to your meal. It goes great with any protein, side dishes or roasted vegetables. It can be incorporated into salad dressings or used as a dipping sauce for crudités. The recipe makes a large amount, so you can cut it in half or keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

To save you some time on Thanksgiving, you can make the Toum ahead of time. You can also boil the potatoes and refrigerate them whole until time to smash and bake. 

A versatile seasoning with many incarnations, Zahtar (aka Za'atar) is an herbaceous blend that features the tartness of sumac and the nutty flavor of sesame seeds. In this recipe, it adds a bright, complex note to the potatoes. It can be used as a simple condiment with olive oil for dipping bread or baked on flat bread. 

Smashed Potatoes with Zahtar and Toum (Garlic Whip)
Serves 8 (plus extra Toum)

Adaped from the New York Times



1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves (16 cloves, from 1-2 garlic heads)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon ice water

Smashed Potatoes:

3 lbs small potatoes, such as baby gold potatoes* 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Zahtar, divided
2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
3 teaspoons Cyprus White Flake Sea Salt, for garnish


Make the Toum: Place peeled garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the garlic for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then repeat three more times until garlic is finely chopped.

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and continue processing until a smooth paste forms, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every 45 seconds or so. You want the wet, finely chopped garlic mixture to end up with a texture similar to mashed potatoes. Pinch it between your fingertips, and it should no longer feel gritty. (If you don’t blend the garlic enough at this stage, it won’t become fluffy and emulsified later.)

With the food processor running, start incorporating 4 tablespoons of oil, drizzling it in at a slow, steady stream. Once the oil is incorporated, slowly add another 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Repeat this step three more times, each time adding 4 tablespoons of oil, then another 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. The mixture should have a fluffy consistency.

Finally, with the food processor still running, add the remaining oil in a slow stream until totally incorporated, then do the same for the ice water.

Once finished, transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Next, make the potatoes. Preheat oven to 350F. Scrub potatoes to remove any dirt. Place potatoes in a large pot, filling with enough water to cover them. Salt the water if desired. Bring potatoes to a boil. Cook potatoes until soft. Small ones should take around 20 to 25 minutes, large ones might take 30 minutes. It's ok if the skin splits. 

When potatoes have finished cooking, drain and let them dry and cool down for 10 minutes.

Place potatoes on a cutting board or baking pan to smash. You can use a potato masher, which works best for smaller potatoes, and for large potatoes a flat plate works best. Potatoes should be crushed to 1/2 inch thickness for smaller potatoes or 1 inch for larger potatoes.

Spread the potatoes so they have a little space in between. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, melted butter, 1 tablespoon Zahtar, granulated garlic, salt and pepper and fresh rosemary. Not too much salt (I used about 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt), as you will finish the potatoes off with Cyprus Sea Salt Flakes. Drizzle atop the potatoes.

Bake for 40 minutes or until deep golden and crispy. Do not flip as this will cause the potatoes to break.

Plate the potatoes and sprinkle with more fresh chopped rosemary, 1/2 tablespoon Zahtar and the Cyprus White Flake Sea Salt. Serve alongside the Toum or use the sauce as a garnish for the potatoes.

*Notes: Other options of potatoes are Yukon gold, baby red potatoes or any variety of small potatoes. 

About Suzyo Changa:
Chef Suzyo Changa

I am Chef Suzyo and I work as a Private Chef and Caterer in the Bay Area. I graduated from California Culinary Academy and soon after worked in fine dining which helped hone my skills and experience leading to other work where I grew as a cook as well as my knowledge of food, and of course my palate! 

As a Zambian born, I am familiar with bold flavors and traditional dishes that have a story to tell. I enjoy fusing different African foods with other cuisines I love to cook: Asian, Latin and French to name a few. Over the years I developed a passion for traveling which opened me to new culinary adventures while being a student and learning different cooking techniques, food agriculture and traditional dishes. I always come back feeling inspired by the flavors and spices, reminding me why I love been a Chef while continuing to master my skills and explore new flavors!

2 Responses


November 18, 2020

Hi Cheri,
The toum will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Chef Suzyo doesn’t recommend freezing it, however, as the sauce will break.

Cheri Pierce
Cheri Pierce

November 18, 2020

how long will the Toum last in the frig?

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