Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Friends, cooks, eaters, lend me your ears. For today, on this holiday Monday – the last hurrah to summer – I have excellent news, nearly worthy of that pseudo-Shakespearean introduction. You see, I have devised for you a potato salad that is everything a potato salad should be – saucy, creamy and packed with green things – and yet manages at the same time to be mayonnaise-free. Good news, for anyone who’s wary of the store-bought stuff’s jiggly quality and who lacks the masterful whisking skills needed to make the stuff from scratch (I am one of you!).
The salad is simple stuff: bite-sized pieces of potato are roasted while a simple sauce made from garlic, tomato puree and a few spices bubbles away on the stove. Once the potatoes are ready to go, they’re topped with the sauce, along with a handful of cilantro, green onions and creamy goat cheese. Stirred together, you’ve got the essence of a summer staple, transformed to be fall-ready: creamy and fresh, but warm, smoky, sweet and spicy too.
And so we have it: a potato salad that’s free of jiggle and that, dare I say, appoaches the realm of healthy. Shakespeare, it’s not. But it sure is good.
Roasted Potato Salad
Inspired by bad potato salads
Makes ~4 cups
6 medium potatoes, peeled (if necessary) and diced into 1-inch pieces (4 cups in total)
1 tbsp olive oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh-ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and squashed
1½ tsp hot, smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup tomato puree
½ tsp granulated sugar
½ cup sliced green onions
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅓ cup crumbled soft white cheese (I used goat cheese, but mild feta would work!)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place potato pieces on an oiled baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside, stirring every 10 minutes.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until golden, 5 minutes or so. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the paprika and cayenne, cooking until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Stir in tomato puree and sugar, cooking over low until sauce has thickened slightly (5-10 minutes). Turn off heat.
3. Once potatoes are cooked, sprinkle them with a big pinch of salt, then pop them into a large bowl. Top potatoes with the hot, smoky tomato sauce. Top again with green onions, cilantro and cheese. Toss to coat and serve steamy!