Wary of watery potatoes? Roast them for salad

With the utmost respect for my mom’s cooking, I poked fun two summers back at our running debate over potato salad.

The setting was my house this past week, the dinner smoked pork ribs and baked beans. But because I planned to teach cooking that evening, rather than partake in meal preparations, my mom was asked to make the potato salad. And predictably, her version drew rave reviews from all assembled.

To be fair, my mother-in-law, the dish’s most vocal admirer, has expressed fondness for my potato salad, as well. Hers, she laments, is too watery. It’s a failing that my mom and I easily sidestep by several methods, on which we agree.

Avoid soggy potatoes by either boiling them in their peels, as my mom does. Or peel them, cut them into quarters and cook until just pierced with a fork, then drain them in a colander placed over a large pot. If the potatoes are slightly undercooked, cover the colander with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 15 minutes, which allows the potatoes to steam and continue cooking.

Waxy varieties, such as Yukon gold, I maintain, don’t soak up as much water and turn to mush. My mom insists on starchy russets, which is why she doesn’t peel them prior to cooking. Or if you’re still wary, eliminate the water from the equation and make potato salad from roasted spuds. This recipe, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press, is a smart way to repurpose leftover roasted potatoes and even deviled eggs.

Tribune News Service photo

Roasted Potato Salad

10 cups leftover roasted potatoes (or see note for roasting)

6 leftover deviled eggs or 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, tarragon and dill

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend or favorite all-purpose seasoning

1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, place the roasted potatoes, eggs, celery, scallions and herbs of choice. Season with the salt and pepper to taste and a seasoning blend. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar and mustard. (You can use less mayonnaise if using deviled eggs.) Pour over salad and gently stir to blend all ingredients. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.

NOTE: To roast potatoes, preheat oven to 375 F. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet with sides and place it in oven while it preheats. Quarter potatoes. When oven is preheated, use oven mitts to remove baking sheet and place potato quarters on baking sheet. Season with all-purpose seasoning and toss wedges to coat with oil and seasoning. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden. Remove from oven and cool before using in salad.

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