During my years in Boston, I used to curse under my breath as I trekked through the snow, wishing I was back in Los Angeles. Now that I’m back in sunny California, I miss those chilly days, especially when it’s 91 degrees in the beginning of April. The one benefit of ridiculously warm days in spring? The idea that I can now prepare dishes appropriate for the summer including this roasted potato salad with lemon aioli. Potato salad may appear to be a boring side dish, but add a few extra ingredients and it can transform into something that is anything but. Roasted yukon potatoes are finished with a lemon aioli, horseradish, fresh dill and pickled red onions, the perfect summer or spring side for any meal.
- 2 lbs yukon potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tbsp creamed horseradish
- 1/4 cup mayo
- salt and pepper
- fresh dill
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water. Season water with 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. The potatoes should not be completely soft and should still have some firmness.
- Toss potatoes with garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden crisp. Flip the potatoes and roast another 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard thyme sprigs and season with more salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pickled onions. Microwave the vinegar for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until warm. Add sugar and salt. Pour mixture over the red onions and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Prepare the lemon aioli. Combine lemon zest and juice, horseradish and mayo in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Finish the potatoes. Arrange on a platter and dollop the lemon aioli on top. Sprinkle pickled red onions and dill. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
When I was younger, I took advantage of every major holiday as a time to experiment with recipes. I remember one dinner when my sister and I decided to cook a feast for our family. One of the sides included roasted potatoes – I mean how can you mess up roasted potatoes? Turns out it was harder than we expected. Even after 45 minutes, the potatoes weren’t quite what we had hoped for. Fast forward years later and I am now a pro at producing the best roasted potatoes and I’m here to share my tips.
First off, the potato. I personally love the yukon because it still gets a crispy exterior but the interior is deliciously creamy. Russet potatoes are better for those who prefer crispier skin but either variation will work. My error as a kid? I chose red potatoes. Red potatoes are waxy potatoes so although they will be creamy, there will be no crisp.
Secondly, parboil the potatoes. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference this makes. The potato is able to cook evenly, allowing the interior to become creamy without burning the skins. No one told me this when I was a kid but now I know better.
Third and lastly, do not crowd the potatoes on the baking sheet when roasting. If there are too many potatoes in the pan, they will steam rather than roast.
Once the potatoes are ready, finish with the spicy lemon aioli, fresh dill and pickled red onions to have one spectacular roasted potato salad. Sure this can be a little extra work than the classic potato salad, but trust me, it’s completely worth it.
I served this gorgeous roasted potato salad with mushroom toast, lemon and herb shrimp skewers and balsamic green beans with candied walnuts. What’s on your table tonight?
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.