Having a German grandmother exposed me to vinegar-style potato salad from an early age. Don’t get me wrong, we had our share of mayo-based summer spuds too, but I developed a taste for the briny acidity and mustard of German-style potato salads at a very early age. What I didn’t see at that time however, growing up in Southern Indiana, was roasted potato salad…only boiled taters in our tater salads. It was only after I developed some culinary chops that I realized the beauty of roasted potatoes…well, TBH, roasted everything. Not only does roasting develop a bit of sweetness from caramelizing the natural carbohydrates, but it saves you from ditching all those wonderful nutrients that are lost when draining the water.
I am able to find tiny marble-sized potatoes both at the farmers market and in the grocery store. There are several brands at the supermarket, including The Little Potato Company. They offer an assortment of cherry-sized fresh creamer potatoes…Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle, Little Charmers, Chilean Splash, among them. If you can’t find a small potato in your market, I recommend roasting new potatoes whole and cutting to size once they have cooled. Not only does it better hold the nutrients, but it also helps keep them a bit creamier which is a good thing in salads. If you were making an oven-roasted side dish, you might want the added golden surfaces from a pre-cut potato. It’s a matter of personal taste, so go with what you know. A whole larger potato will definitely increase cooking time, so keep that in mind.
Now is the perfect time to think about preserving the late summer bounty of tomatoes, so I am counting on you to look back to the post You’ll Thank Me in the Winter Oven-Dried Tomatoes. If you don’t have any on hand and aren’t ready to work on your winter supply, either substitute with sun-dried tomatoes (so inferior!!) or just use fresh tomatoes for the whole recipe, either the heirloom cherries called for in the recipe or chopped Romas or Beefs, enough to make up the one cup tomato total (1/2 cup dried + 1/2 cup fresh). Don’t forget to adjust seasonings, especially salt, if you are only using fresh. The oven-dried tomatoes will bring salt from the prep, so I have cut back on the salt in the recipe in anticipation.
If you are so lucky as to have leftover roasted potato salad, try adding it to a breakfast quesadilla along with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and a little avocado, all sandwiched between flour tortillas. And be sure to keep my number handy because I’m gonna wanna show up for that!
This roasted potato salad highlights the potato-y-ness of fresh-dug new potatoes, often lost with boiling. Being a just-say-nay-to-mayo gal, I love the bright flavors of lemon juice with lemon oil. It’s a partay in your mouth! You’re invited.
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon olive oil or EVOO
1/4 teaspoon salt (you will need more if using fresh tomatoes in lieu of oven-dried or sun-dried)
1/2 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes (or use 1 cup of either oven-dried or fresh)
4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
Make the Vinaigrette:
Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate until needed.
Make the Salad:
Preheat oven to 425oF. Drizzle just enough olive oil over potatoes to coat very lightly and toss to combine. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until tender, about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes with the edamame, both kinds of tomatoes, bacon, scallions, parsley and chives.
Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until serving time. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
Say it ain’t so!! This sad infographic appeared this week from a consulting company that focuses on food and beverage trends. For me, the really sad part is the title – Erosion of Meal Rituals. According to the Hartman Group, more people are eating meals alone and most meals are planned in less than an hour. The last part sounds really good to me. With a well-stocked pantry, and the fact that spring has sprung and sweet peas are starting to appear, this soul-satisfying dish can be whipped up in no time. But it’s just as easy to make this for two – or three – or four or more – so please don’t eat alone. Breaking bread with friends and family is one of life’s great treats and truth be told is the real soul-satisfying part of any meal.
This spicy horseradish lemon dressing is a fantastic vinaigrette to make in a big batch and have on hand. I always have four or more vinaigrettes available at any time and the flavor profile of each can take a dish in a whole new direction. Lemon/EVOO is a staple, doctored here with a dose of spicy mustard and horseradish. I love a creamy miso dressing, an Asian ginger/soy/sesame oil one and of course something balsamic-based – maple, raspberry, white balsamic, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Using classic French technique, salt and pepper are added first with the acid so that they can dissolve before drizzling in the oil in a thin stream for a perfect emulsion. Seemingly every kitchen in France had a different benchmark as to what was the right amount of seasonings. And no matter how I did it, I was American and it was wrong. Oh wait, I was an American Woman, and it was really wrong. I will dedicate a whole post to the classic technique, but for today we will just dump and whisk. As an American, I reserve the right to change the technique and I find that using a grainy salt and pepper in just a measured dose at the end – here I use it strategically on the avocado where its texture and flavor make it a standout – allows for more control over sodium intake which isn’t a bad thing. Certainly not as bad as eating alone. These are my favorite salts today – Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and Maine Coast Sea Seasonings.
Sweet Peas, Tuna and New Potato Salad
1 pound small new potatoes
½ pound fresh (or frozen) shelled sweet peas
10 ounces tuna (I prefer chunk light tuna in water – especially love the pouches that need no draining)
5 ounces arugula
1 avocado, sliced or chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Spicy Horseradish Lemon Vinaigrette
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 Tablespoon spicy Dijon mustard
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain liquid and let potatoes cool to room temperature.
While the potatoes are cooling, place an inch of water in the pot and bring to a boil. Transfer the peas to a steamer basket and add the basket to the pot and cover. (Frozen peas can just be thawed – no need to cook). When tender (about 2 minutes), remove the basket and run under cool water to stop the cooking.
Prepare the Spicy Horseradish Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine well, or place in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Arrange greens in four bowls and divide and arrange potatoes, peas, tuna and avocado. Drizzle with spicy horseradish lemon vinaigrette. Or combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl and drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Either way – composed (aka deconstructed) or tossed – it’s as fresh as the spring air.