Herbed Idaho® Potato Parfaits


  • 2 pounds Idaho® gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups fresh soft green herbs, e.g. basil, parsley, dill, chives, garlic chives, cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Garnish: cooked crumbled bacon or cubed pancetta, crushed potato chips


  1. Put the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the hot pot for a few minutes so some of the excess moisture evaporates.
  2. Chop the herbs finely (this is easiest in a food processor).
  3. Add the half-and-half and 4 tablespoons butter to the hot potatoes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in the chopped herbs; the potatoes should be very green. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Cover the herbed mashed potatoes and keep warm over a very low flame.
  4. Make the cheese sauce: Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, making sure you whisk away any flour lumps. Cook about 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.
  5. Turn down the heat and add the cheese. Continue to whisk until the cheese melts and the sauce is very smooth. Add the white wine and cook another 1 minute.
  6. Assemble the parfaits: In a clear tumbler or juice glass, put a layer of herbed mashed potatoes, a few spoonful’s of cheese sauce, another layer of mashed potatoes, and a final drizzle of cheese sauce. Top with the bacon and/or potato chips. Serve immediately.