Ciao chow! At the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this past weekend, Giada De Laurentiis started Saturday on a delicious note with an Italian dim sum-style Champagne brunch at Soho Beach House’s Cecconi’s Miami Beach.
Cooking alongside the restaurant’s executive chef Sergio Sigala and James Beard award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, De Laurentiis treated the afternoon soirée’s attendees to sweet and savory bites like fried smashed potatoes with lemon, tricolore chopped salad, finger sandwiches and bombolini (Italian doughnuts):
Only Giada could look this gorgeous in the kitchen:
Hungry for brunch? Of course you are. Below, De Laurentiis shares with PEOPLE her recipe for one of the party’s most popular menu items, fried smashed potatoes. Whip these up as a side at your next brunch bash. Mangia!
Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemons
2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
Zest of 2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place the potatoes in an 8-quart stockpot with enough cold water to cover at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to dry for 5 minutes. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the potatoes until lightly smashed.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat ¼ cup of oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic and discard. In batches, add the potatoes and cook, without stirring, until the bottoms turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using the spatula, turn the potatoes over and cook, drizzling with oil if needed, until golden brown on the underside, 5-8 minutes.
3. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp. oil, lemon juice, parsley, thyme and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, dress and serve.