Many people think of potato salad as warm weather fare, or a side with a sandwich. But different recipes are served at temperatures beyond the familiar chilled, mayonnaise-bound potato salad: warm southern German potato salad served with sausage and other meats and room temperature vinaigrette-dressed potato salad as a side.
So today’s tip is: During the cooler months, serve a warm potato salad. Bypass the mayo and dairy dressings (buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt) for a warm vinaigrette (add a teaspoon of lemon juice or mustard, plus salt and pepper) or simply a good olive oil, as in the recipe below.
If you have flavored olive oil—basil, blood orange, chile, garlic, rosemary, etc.—this is the time to use it!
If you make the dish in advance, warm it—or the dressing—in the microwave. You can serve the potato salad at room temperature with a warm vinaigrette; or dress the salad and heat it briefly in the microwave.
Instead of vinaigrette, consider another olive oil-based dressing, such as pesto.
WHAT POTATOES SHOULD YOU USE?
Chose waxy potatoes, such as fingerlings, new potatoes, red jacket and small white round potatoes. They have more moisture and less starch. The lower starch enables them to hold their shape well during cooking. When boiled, steamed or roasted, waxy potatoes come out firm and moist—the ideal consistency for potato salad.
We keep the skins on to preserve the nutrients; we actually prefer the “rustic” look the skins impart.
It’s sad that take-out potato salad has convinced most Americans that all you need are potatoes, mayonnaise and perhaps some shredded carrot for color. The great thing about potato salad is that it can take on a different personality—and layers of flavor—with each added ingredient. Look through the fridge and pantry and add any ingredients and leftovers.
All of these combinations are made with vinaigrette or olive oil, but can be bound with any dressing you choose:
Toss in whatever you have—anything that is begging to be tossed in—including, but not limited to:
BEER-ROASTED POTATO SALAD RECIPE
This delicious warm potato salad with bacon was a finalist in the United States Potato Board-sponsored “Healthy Potato Salad” Recipe Redux Challenge. This recipe was created by Love And Zest, a blog written by a registered dietician. Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 45 minutes.
Ingredients For 6 Servings
 Brussels sprouts and bacon enhance this warm potato salad (photo © Potato Goodness).
1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F.
2. SLICE potatoes and Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Place in a large bowl and soak in beer for 5 minutes.
3. PLACE on a rimmed baking sheet and top with onion, garlic and rosemary; drizzle with olive oil.
4. BAKE 45 minutes, stirring midway through baking. Remove from oven.
5. SPRINKLE roasted vegetables with kosher salt. Top with bacon. Add extra olive oil if desired.