I first tasted this combo at Le Coquillage restaurant in Cancale/Saint-Méloir. The restaurant’s écrasé de pommes de terre was redolent with butter and was served alongside 2 perfectly cooked solettes (small soles). The pairing was genius – the preserved lemons were lemony but not sour and added a delicate fermented note. I’ve lightened the original up quite a bit (it can even be made with all olive oil if you want to make it vegan). and find it is still is the ideal accompaniment to pan-fried fish.
1 ½ lb/750 g. russet or Yukon gold potatoes (starchy), peeled
1/2 large or 1 small preserved lemon, drained
2 Tbs./30 g. butter
2 Tbs./30 ml. olive oil
½ cup/100 ml. milk, buttermilk, cream, or vegetable milk
parsley, for garnish
Place the potatoes in a pot, cover well with cold water, and add 1 tsp. salt. Partially cover, bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
Meanwhile, remove the pulp from the preserved lemon, then very finely chop the rind. Place the rind in a large mixing bowl with the butter and oil.
When the potatoes are done, drain them and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Rice the potatoes with a potato ricer into the bowl with the preserved lemon, or mash them in the bowl with a masher or a fork. (Depending on how chunky you like your potatoes. Add the milk/cream, and stir to combine. Stir in a little of the cooking water if the potatoes seem too thick. Season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with parsley. Serves 4