I’m a firm believer in reducing the number of times I turn on the oven inside the house once our temperatures start to hit 80+. But I’m not against using the grill to roast off staples like fresh dug potatoes. While potatoes keep pretty well, you really need cool dark dry storage. Not an easy thing to achieve in the South. So I opt for cooking them right away with fat. Olive Oil to be exact, along with some good salt & fine ground pepper. And then I freeze them. It’s no wonder the local farmers have taken to calling me the “freezer queen”. Laugh as you may, you won’t when you have my Roasted Potato & Summer Corn Chowder or Potato & Roast Beef Hash in the middle of winter with a couple of eggs on top for breakfast. So go ahead and buy a few extra pounds of some of those beautiful potatoes you have spotted in the market. Support your local farmers and take them some leftover soup in the middle of winter to show your appreciation for all the work they do during the main growing season.
Roast all of your potatoes using the technique in this recipe and then freeze them in containers with between a pound – two in each container depending on your family size or recipes on file. You’ll take half the time to prepare your recipes in the middle of winter when daylight hours are scarce and your energy is lower. Use more or less herbs depending on your preference for each batch. I happen to really like the flavor of fresh herbs so I use quite a bit of the fresh ones from my garden for our home supply. If you don’t like herbs, cut back and if you don’t have access to fresh herbs, I generally use an Italian blend from Savory Spice or Frontier in a pinch.
If you like vinegar on your french fries (those of you that have been to the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland), you can achieve a healthy version of those fries by adding just a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar or malted vinegar to about 1 lb of your roasted potatoes as they exit the oven. They will absorb the vinegar quickly and you can adjust your salt at that point as well, using anything from a Chardonnay Oak Barrel Salt to Murray River Flake Salt. One is a little more like fall, one like spring or summer. Eat them warm or at room temperature. Warm, they will still be crispy from the oven roasting.
But with this recipe for potato salad, if you’re tempted to add the vinegar, don’t. I’ve tried it and it competes too much with the buttermilk dressing, fresh herbs and olive oil undertones. This is a subtle side dish and it’s not meant to pucker your mouth, just complement your other food. The fresh herbs, good quality salt & pepper all stand on their own in the dressing just fine without vinegar.
Roasted Potato Salad with Buttermilk & Yogurt Herb Dressing
- 2 lbs freshly dug Corolla or Yukon Potatoes (not too large)
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground mixed pepper blend
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped heirloom celery
- 2 tablespoons organic buttermilk (without thickening agents)
- 1/4 cup organic Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
- 1 /2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic or garlic scapes finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1 hard-boiled farm egg, rough chopped
- pinch of celery salt (optional)
- Scrub your potatoes well. I tend to use smaller potatoes and leave the skin on them. It’s generally thin and crisps up nicely when it’s roasting. Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces.
- Spread on a heavy baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and half of thyme and rosemary. Toss to coat well.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 400F for about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes to crisp the potatoes. Keep an eye on them. Remove and let them cool completely.
- Chop your celery into small pieces. (larger if you prefer it that way)
- Mix yogurt, buttermilk and the other half of the thyme, rosemary, parsley, chives, garlic and celery together and blend with the cooled potatoes. Gently toss in the chopped hard-boiled egg.
- Let sit at least 1/2 hour in the refrigerator before serving.
If you don’t plan to dress your potatoes in some way there are a couple of other options during the roasting process. You can change the salt and pepper blend.
- Savory Spice Shop has a Piment d’Espelette Grey Sea Salt that is excellent on the potatoes along with a little extra Espelette Chili Pepper which is on the light side of the heat scale. Using those two items with olive oil will and combining with some extra roasted onions will provide you with a back drop for breakfast potatoes that pair well with eggs.
- If you plan to use the roasted potatoes with meat or poultry, Savory Spice Shop has a Chardonnay Oak Barrel Salt that is one of their lightest smoked salts and the subtle nature of it pairs well with mushrooms, onions, and summer peppers for a dairy free potato salad using olive oil.