Few dishes are as personal as potato salad. Many of us have happy childhood memories of this iconic dish, often served at picnics or barbecues. Usually those memories involve a bowl of boiled potatoes, along with various add-ins, all held together with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
In my experience, most people are fiercely loyal to the potato salad of their youth. If your mom used pickle relish or yellow mustard in her salad, you likely do the same. If fresh dill played a prominent role then, it likely still does now.
While I also carry a deep, abiding love for my mother's no-frills version, made with potatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise — lots and lots of mayonnaise — I'm open to taking a fresh look at an old favorite with this week's recipe, Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad With Roasted Garlic Lemon Aioli.
As the name implies, we aren't boiling the potatoes for this salad. Instead, we are roasting them, intensifying their flavor. In addition to the potatoes, we're adding green beans, also roasted, which gives the dish added interest. Fresh lemon zest is tossed with the hot-from-the-oven vegetables, permeating them with its essential oils.
Garlic cloves are roasted, along with the veggies, before being mashed and mixed together with mayonnaise and lemon juice. Roasting takes away the assertiveness found in raw garlic and replaces it with a subtle sweetness, resulting in a mayonnaise (or aioli) with a balanced, nuanced flavor.
Typically, potato salad is heavily dressed before being served, transforming all the ingredients into one homogenized mixture. For this updated take, the aioli is served on the side, allowing each person to dress their salad with as much or as little mayo as they like.
The veggies, which are cooled slightly after roasting, are combined with cherry tomatoes and a generous scattering of basil and parsley, just before serving.
This light, fresh salad could easily become a complete meal with the addition of shredded cooked chicken, tuna or even a hard-boiled egg or two.
Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad With Roasted Garlic Lemon Aioli
Serves 4 to 6
Note: Roasted garlic aioli is served on the side of this fresh take on potato salad, allowing everyone to take as much or as little as they want. If you prefer a more traditional presentation, feel free to toss the salad with the aioli before serving. From Meredith Deeds.
• 1 1/2 lb. baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
• 10 cloves garlic, peeled
• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
• 1 tsp. salt, divided
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 12 oz. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces
• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
• 1/3 c. mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 c. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1/4 c. roughly chopped (or torn) basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the potatoes and garlic cloves in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer, with the cut sides of the potatoes down, on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer garlic cloves to a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, combine the green beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and arrange on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Place back in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are browned and beans are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle the lemon zest over the top of vegetables. Toss to combine and let sit for 15 minutes.
Mash roasted garlic cloves with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, parsley and basil with the roasted vegetables. Serve at room temperature with the aioli on the side.
Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram at @meredithdeeds.