Ingredients
For the Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips:
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced 1-inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • White pepper or finely ground black pepper, to taste
For Sharp Cheddar and Dijon Mustard Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
For BLT Mashed Potatoes: 
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 4 to 5 strips bacon, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 to 4 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, washed and dried
For the French Onion Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere, shredded
  • Heavy cream or half and half, for mashing
  • Salt and pepper
For the Cajun-Style Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 12 ounces smoked Andouille sausage, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup celery, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup green peppers, cut into small dice
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • Hot sauce, a couple dashes
  • Salt and pepper
For the Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes:
  • 3/4 cup store-bought pesto, roasted red pepper pesto or olive tapenade
For the Mexican-Style Mashed Potatoes:
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces chorizo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
For the Cheddar, Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
For the Ranch Mashed Potatoes:
  • A small handful fresh chives, finely chopped
  • A small handful fresh dill, finely chopped
  • A small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
For the Butternut Squash and Sage Mashed Potatoes: 
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 3/4 pounds, cut into half-inch dice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sage, finely sliced
For the Herb Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Scallion Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 roasted red pepper, jarred or fresh, cut into medium dice
  • 2 5.4-ounce wheels Boursin garlic-and-herb soft cheese or 6 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Preparation

For the Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips: Place potatoes and parsnips in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook to tender. Drain and mash the potatoes and parsnips with milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Mix-In Suggestions

For Sharp Cheddar and Dijon Mustard Mashed Potatoes: Gently fold the cheddar, mustard and parsley into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For BLT Mashed Potatoes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Drizzle grape tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast in oven for around 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining EVOO over medium-high heat. Brown the bacon then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve some of the bacon drippings and melt in 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter foams, add the leeks and wilt for 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Gently fold the roasted tomatoes, bacon and leeks into mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the French Onion Mashed Potatoes: Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil and butter to the pot and onions as you slice them. When all the onions are in the pan, season with salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Cook onions 15-18 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and caramel-colored. Remove bay leaf and deglaze the pan with sherry. Allow to cook out for 2-3 minutes.

Gently fold the caramelized onions and cheese into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Cajun-Style Mashed Potatoes: Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a skillet and brown sausage, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add the onion, celery and green peppers and saut until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Return sausage to pan and add in Creole seasoning, thyme and a couple dashes of hot sauce.

Gently fold the mixture into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes: Gently fold pesto or tapenade into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Mexican-Style Mashed Potatoes: Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Gently fold chorizo, sour cream, sharp cheddar, chives and cilantro into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Cheddar, Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes: Gently fold the horseradish, cheddar and chives into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Ranch Mashed Potatoes: Gently fold the chives, dill, parsley and sour cream into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Butternut Squash and Sage Mashed Potatoes: Heat the oil and butter in a saut pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and the butter has browned slightly, add the squash, salt, pepper and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is lightly browned and tender, 8-10 minutes.

Gently fold sauteed butternut squash and sage into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Herb Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Scallion Mashed Potatoes: Gently fold the red pepper, herb cheese and scallions into hot mashed potatoes and parsnips. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.