So I happily cut a few stems of our hearty basil plants and rinsed them, and set a pot of water to boiling.
Then I blanched them for the 15 seconds that Ina instructed me to do, then set them into an ice bath to "shock them".
Using the same pot of boiling water, I also cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, with the skin on (Ina says to peel them, but I like unpeeled small potatoes).
NOTE: The second time I made these, I used Tyler Florence's method of cooking the potatoes right in the cream (you can view it here). I then poured out the cream (saving it), once the potatoes were tender, and use half of it to puree with the basil, with a blender. I think the blender worked better. The remaining hot cream is reserved, on low heat, to fresh up or reheat the potatoes. This technique worked really well!
VERDICT: My husband, son and I really loved the flavor of these potatoes. This might sound odd, but my men said it kind of tasted "pumpkin pie". Don't ask me why, but they both agreed. Pumpkin pie? I tasted basil and Parmesan. I am so fond of garlic mashed potatoes, so I made this recipe a second time. Not only did I cook the potatoes in the hot cream, but I threw in one clove of garlic. I really liked this version a lot. My husband said that these didn't taste like pumpkin pie. Well, that's good. I have no idea what tricks their taste buds were playing. The bottom line is, these are a colorful and flavorful way to enjoy fresh basil. One more Ina Garten recipe success story. I can see why I have all of her cookbooks. They are pretty much fool-proof! I hope you try them!
A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.