The Challenge: Design, cook, and implement a dinner menu for a backyard wedding with 80 guests and a budget of $1000. Today we finally solve our potato salad problems.
It might seem a little contrary, but, I have to being this post by mentioning, I flippin’ hate potato salad. Let’s be honest, shall we? It’s foul stuff. Congealed, goopey, mayo nastiness. Soggy potatoes. Occasionally nasty little clumps of celery or maybe egg. Yet, despite often being overzealously dressed, it is surprisingly without much in the way of flavor.
Today’s recipe is not that potato salad. I promise.
In fact, it feels wrong to me to call this magnificent dish potato salad. It’s like calling someone really nice a rude word. Just not right. Certainly something your Mom would scold you for.
But, technically this is potato salad. It’s just unlike the nastiness you usually get. This is wonderful. Seriously addicting even.
The first thing that makes this unlike the typical potato salad, is roasting your potatoes. Roasting adds flavor and prevents sogginess. Golden brown potatoes automatically means a winner my friends! But, perhaps the most important thing that differentiates this salad is that the dressing is primarily olive oil based; as opposed to mayo. A touch of mayo mixed in gives you the creamy factor you crave, without the afore mentioned congealed ick problem. The rest of the dressing is made up of olive oil, two types of mustard, lemon juice, and tangy red wine vinegar (the tang just takes it over the top). Add rosemary and sea salt and, uh, yummm.
Just so you know my friends, mustard/ rosemary/ potatoes are actually food soul mates. In my opinion they actually put peanut butter and jelly to shame as the perfect pairing.
Plus, on top of all this flavorful brilliance, this one is pretty easy to pull together. It takes a bit of time to oven roast the potatoes, but you can wander off meanwhile. Come back, cool the potatoes, dress the thing, try not to eat the entire bowl yourself, and you’re good to go.
Brilliance aside, you might wonder why I even attempted a potato salad recipe when I generally loath it so much? Honestly, it came down to the wedding catering project. To recap, the wedding catering project refers to my husband’s cousin Kyra’s wedding; it’s going to be bbq themed, at least food wise, and we’re working with a budget of $1000 to feed 80. Pulled pork will be gracing the menu as will chicken salad and other picnic-y summery dishes.
Much to my chagrin potato salad is a perfect side dish for this type of meal. (If it actually tastes good.) I tested all kinds of recipes for the catering project, but put off potato salad, and put it off and off and off. I knew I needed to stop being a hater but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it until…
I was sitting one mooring reading my favorite food blogs, along with my cup of coffee, and what should appear but an amazing sounding potato salad recipe with a vinaigrette instead of a mayo dressing. Thank you Shannon on Food52. You are absolutely brilliant. I didn’t have all the ingredients of Shannon’s recipe, but none the less hopped right into an adaptation of my own. It came out fantastic, first try.
Instant potato salad conversion.
So take it from the potato salad hater turned lover, bring this one along to your next BBQ and I promise you it will disappear in record time… and you will receive a standing invitation to every future BBQ for all of eternity.
FYI Went back at a later date to try Shannon’s original recipe, also brilliant! Thanks against to Shannon for rescuing potato salad for me!