How to Make It
Make pesto: Purée garlic and basil in a food processor. Add olives and oil and pulse to a smooth, thick paste. Turn into a bowl and stir in cheese.
Put potatoes in a large pot on the stove with generously salted water to cover. Bring almost to a boil and cook until easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, press each between your hands until about 3/4 in. thick but still in one piece.
Build a fire and let burn to ashy chunks (see “The DIY Firepit,” below).
Spread each potato with 1 heaping tbsp. pesto and press to compact it. Heat a cast-iron skillet, then add potatoes. Pan-roast until crisp underneath, 5 minutes. Turn pesto side down and let roast and crisp up. “Roasting the pesto adds umami to the potatoes and an interesting toastiness.” Put on a platter, pesto side up, and sprinkle with parsley.
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