This was the second year of our CSA, and I still find that one of my favorite things to play with is purple potatoes. Last year I turned them into Deviled Potato Bites and those are definitely still a favorite. But this year I think I’m rather obsessed with experimenting with various kinds of potato salad.
The littlest things can make a huge difference in a potato salad. If you chop your herbs finely, they’re really there to enhance the flavor and color of the salad. But if you rough chop the herbs, they also add that textured crunch of fresh greens.
The same potato salad recipe can also be made drastically different just from the size and shape you cut your potatoes. Thinly sliced coins are very different from chunks, which are very different from mashing the potatoes.
Of course the potatoes you use make a big difference. If you use russet potatoes with thick brown skin, you will most likely need to peel them. But thinner skinned potatoes can be turned into potato salad with the skins left intact.
When I make a purple potato salad, I don’t even necessarily call it that. Often when people hear the phrase “potato salad”, they imagine something well mixed with the dominant flavor of mayonnaise. Regardless of whether or not you prefer mayonnaise laden potato salad (I don’t!), it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to use such beautiful purple potatoes and the cover them up with a bunch of dressing.
Instead I like to thinly slice the potatoes into coins and roast them in the oven. This adds a little more flavor to the potatoes before you even dress them, and helps them hold their shape better than if I boil them.
Next I arrange the slices on each plate and sprinkle some rough chopped herbs over the top. In this kind of recipe I usually use green onions instead other varieties. I really want the potato to shine and simply be complimented by the onion flavor, not overpowered.
The final step is drizzling the potatoes with some kind of dressing. The recipe below is one of my favorites because I always have the ingredients on hand. It’s very light on mayonnaise because the real tangy flavor comes from the Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. Sometimes, depending on who I’m serving it to, I’ll substitute plain yogurt or Greek yogurt for the low fat mayonnaise.
This is usually plenty of dressing for Eric and I, but some people ask for more (yep, they’re mayonnaise potato salad people, I don’t judge!). I occasionally increase the amount of dressing, and then let everyone drizzle their own dressing to taste. The cold dressing over hot potatoes provides an interesting contrast, but if you think that might be too strange for your guests, feel free to cool the potatoes before serving.
Roasted Purple Potatoes with Dijon Dressingserves 4
8 small purple potatoes
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS light mayonnaise
2 TBS dijon mustard
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
pepper to taste
1/2-1 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/2 TBS thyme leaves
3 green onions chopped (greens only)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Clean the potatoes and slice them into coins 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Mix the potato slices with olive oil and spread out in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Roast 8-12 minutes or until slices are easily pierced with a fork.
While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the light mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, sugar and pepper.
When the potato slices are done,sprinkle them with kosher salt and divide among four plates. Scatter chopped parsley, thyme leaves and chopped green onion over the potatoes, then drizzle with about 1 TBS of dressing.
Approximate cost/serving: Potatoes are cheap, even if you don’t get them as part of a CSA. If your store doesn’t have the purple potatoes, feel free to substitute red skinned potatoes. In our area this costs about $2.00 to make so only 50 cents a serving.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is already vegetarian and gluten free, and can easily be made vegan by substituting olive oil for the light mayonnaise to make a dijon vinaigrette dressing.