You can either boil your potatoes while the garlic is in the oven, or bake them at the same time. Baked potatoes make beautifully floury mashed potatoes and you also then have the added bonus of the skins, which children love to eat deep-fried with sour cream or blue cheese dressing. (Adults who are not counting calories like eating them the same way too).
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas 6. Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour until cooked.
While the potatoes are in the oven, saw the top off the whole head of garlic, then wrap the garlic head in a double thickness of foil and bake the parcel in the oven with the potatoes for the last 30 minutes.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and push it through a potato ricer into a bowl or mash the flesh dry with a potato masher, seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste.
When the mashed potatoes are smooth, open the foil packet at the top and squeeze out the garlic, which will have puréed during cooking. Beat this purée and the butter into the mashed potatoes.
The result is quite good enough to eat on its own, but it also make a great accompaniment to roast meat
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.