Save the Potato ... Hold the Mayo

September 9, 2010

Pity the poor potato. Relegated to being a vegetable non grata because it is a carbohydrate — and you know what that means! Let it pass your lips and it will wreck your diet, make you gain weight, make you feel guilty, and is just plain bad for you!

Well, now that fall is slowly approaching, I am starting to think of ways to use those just-dug fresh potatoes of the season.

I am a true fan of the humble potato, which – dare I say – is a good and good for you. It is really how you prepare and serve them that are the culprits. Potato salad? No thank you, too much mayo. Fries? No thank you, too much grease. Potato latkes? Now you’re talking!

Come on! You have eaten far worse things than potatoes. For starters, the spud is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Water accounts for about 80% of the weight of a potato. One medium size potato has about 100 calories, is a good source of dietary fiber, and has no cholesterol, unless it is slathered in butter and sour cream with bacon bits on top!

So what is a potato lover to do? How about making a delicious roasted potato salad that will have you loving the potato again for all its good qualities.

Roasted Potato Salad

Serves 4

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
Grinding black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried mustard
2 ½ tablespoons rice wine or white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons fresh minced tarragon leaves
4 medium Yukon Gold or Red Skin potatoes, washed, peeled and dried and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small red onion, peeled cut in half and then into thin half rings


In a bowl whisk together 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic, dried mustard, vinegar, honey and tarragon. Pour the dressing into a glass rectangular Pyrex type casserole (9 x 12) Set aside. Or make the dressing ahead and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature when you want to dress the potatoes.

Toss the potatoes in a separate bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the potato cubes on a baking sheet and roast them in a 350F-preheated oven until they are fork tender, about 8-10 minutes. Turn them a couple of times as they cook. When they are cooked transfer them immediately to the dish with the dressing and toss them gently to coat them well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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