1 bulb garlic, intact
Salt and pepper
6 large russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1 cup milk, plus more as needed
Minced chives, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Use a sharp knife to slice off the top end so that the bulb remains intact and all of the cloves are exposed. Place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil around the bulb so that it is completely covered and bake until the cloves are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before handling. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the bulb so that the softened cloves fall out. Discard the peels. Use the tines of a fork to mash the roasted garlic into a paste. Set aside.
Place the chopped potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes. Drain well.
Return the potatoes to the warm pot. Add in the butter, salt, milk, and the roasted garlic paste. With an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, adding more milk as needed. Avoid over-beating.* Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Garnish with minced chives. Serve warm.
*I’ve heard many times that potatoes can become gummy when mixed with an electric mixer. This is the only way I’ve ever done it and I’ve never encountered that issue. Even so, I try to mix only as long as is necessary to achieve the smooth texture that I prefer.