Pesto-mashed potatoes & “complement”

Zach and I had a couple of friends over for dinner last night. They love ratatouille, and since Z makes such delicious ratatouille it was an obvious dish to serve. I didn’t think we needed to serve a side with it–we almost never have sides with our meals–but Z really wanted to have one. Pesto-mashed potatoes were the perfect complement† and made our meal unbelievably yummy. (Feast idea?)

compliment; complement. Both as verbs and as nouns, these words are often confounded. Compliment = (1) vb., to praise <she complimented the book lavishly>; or (2) n., a laudatory remark <her generous compliments emboldened the young author>. Complement = (1) vb., to supplement appropriately or adequately <special Thai desserts complemented the curries nicely>; or (2) n., an adequate supplement <the flowering plants are a splendid complement to the trees offered at the nursery>.

Compliment sometimes displaces complement, esp. in the phrase full complement (= a complete set). . . .

The reverse error, complement for compliment, is rare but does occur.

Garner, Bryan (2009-07-28). Garner’s Modern American Usage (p. 174–5). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Pesto-mashed potatoes


  • 3 large potatoes
  • 190 g pesto*
  • 1/3 to 1/2 oz margarine


  1. After washing them, cut potatoes into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Place in a large pot. Put enough water in to cover potatoes. Boil for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain and mash potatoes. (We use forks because we don’t have a masher.) Add margarine.
  3. Stir in pesto, and serve hot.

*Some store-bought types of pesto have Parmesan cheese in them. If you’re making a vegan meal, be sure to check the jar’s ingredients.

This entry was posted in Grammar/Usage, Sides, Vegan dishes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pesto-mashed potatoes & “complement”

  1. Sidney says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Looks delish….now I’m hungry!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s