Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
This classic casserole often straddles the line between side and dessert (indeed, we've enjoyed the leftovers both ways). We dial down the sugar to steer the dish back to savory territory, and add a crunchy oat and nut topper for texture. A final drizzle of maple syrup just before serving gives the casserole a lovely sheen. While we call for a ricer in our master mashed potatoes, a potato masher is perfectly acceptable here since the spuds will be bound with an egg, topped, and baked.
Serves 12 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water to 1 inch above potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Return potatoes to saucepan. Add milk, 1 tablespoon butter, and vanilla; mash to desired consistency. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and egg. Spread potato mixture in the bottom of an 11- x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, oats, pecans, almond meal, and 2 tablespoons syrup in a bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and canola oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle oat mixture over potatoes. Bake at 375°F for 18 minutes or until surface is golden. Remove pan from oven; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup.