You guys. I have GOT to get my camera out and get back on the horse! These iPhone photos I’ve got going on are terrible. It doesn’t help that the lighting in my kitchen is the worst ever. No styling whatsoever. We are talking bad Chinese take-out menu quality photographs. It’s like my photography has gone backwards or something. Argh! Ok. I’m getting on that photo thing pronto.
In the meantime, you should make some potato skins. I know you are planning a big football bash next weekend, right? It is a perfect excuse to have nachos and potato skins and wings all other manner of evil foods. I’ll tell you what. I make some good nachos. Pile those babies high with roasted chicken, black beans, diced red pepper, cheese, olives, jalapeños….the more toppings, the better. You should come over sometime so that I can make them for you. But we are here to talk about potato skins. With broccoli. And they are good.
When I was a little girl, let’s go with eight or nine or twelve, my grandmother used to take me into the city for lunch and a day of shopping every summer. I am now going to admit something downright disturbing. One of my favorite places to go was (wait for it) TGI Friday’s for potato skins. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when we stopped there. For real. Did I mention “the city” was New Orleans? That’s right. In the city of gumbo and red beans and Mother’s drip beef po-boys with debris and shrimp po-boys and fried catfish, I was excited about potato skins at TGI Friday’s. I know now that I am an adult that my grandmother either loved me more than life or hated food to suffer through that culinary disaster not once but mulitple times. I loved me some potato skins. I also got a kick out of the old fashioned toilets if we are being honest. You know what I’m talking about. And don’t forget the flair.
Ok, so I made these potato skins with a big salad and chicken right after the holidays when all I wanted was vegetables. The bar is low, I realize, but these are MUCH better than the potato skins at TGI Friday's if I do say so myself. I thought my kids might turn up their noses but I didn’t care. I needed vegetables. Théa ate four. And she gave me her highest endorsement: “we should make this again!” Gus was not so much into the skins. Maybe next time.
I cheated and steamed my broccoli in the microwave while the potatoes were keeping warm in the oven. Once you’ve cooked the broccoli and prepped all the other goodies (basil, flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, garlic), everything simply gets pulsed in your food processor. Ridiculously easy.
The baked potatoes are emptied of most of their centers, broiled upside-down, and then broiled again right-side up filled with broccoli pesto and parmesan. What’s not to like? I ended up using quite a bit of extra liquid and quite a bit of salt and pepper. We did have quite a bit of leftover pesto, which I tossed with veggie sausage, veggies, and pasta for our vegetarian’s dinner the next night.
This would be a great side for baked chicken or fish or a nice change from mashed potatoes with meatloaf. I might add a little walnut or something to the pesto next time. And, of course, it would be awesome on game day. We will be serving these alongside having nachos. Want to come over?