I always thought most people do like potato salad to a degree, but is rarely somebody’s favorite thing.
More just something you accept.
“Oh, potato salad’s here. Guess I’ll have some before those ribs to get cooked!”
This past weekend I was proven wrong.
I showed up to a BBQ with a big bowl of potato salad and not only was I welcomed, but adored too.
I shouldn’t be surprised by potato salad popularity, I am myself a potato salad fiend.
It just reminds me of those family picnics we'd go on as a kid, or those backyard BBQ's in the summer.
I’m not saying that I eat potato salad for lunch. That would be irresponsible, unhealthy, and just the very opposite of what this blog stands for.
However, I have found that when potato salads exists in the fridge, it has a way of becoming lunch, maybe even dinner.
One taste leads to two, which leads to a full serving or two or three.
A solid carb-filled warm weather lunch. You just need to run 10 miles to burn off the calories afterwards. No worries.
There are many ways to make potato salad, so many are bland and uninteresting.
Overcooked potatoes doused with mayonnaise. Interlaced with random, soggy vegetables.
When done right instead, it’s one of the most satisfying side dishes around.
Such as this Moroccan Potato Salad.
First off, there’s not even a hint of mayo. So all you mayo-phobes out there (you know who you are) can keep your shirts on.
I confess to being fascinated by the fact that so many people are reluctant to use mayonnaise.
I try to tell them that mayo is a simple emulsion of egg yolks and oil. Sure, commercial mayo is usually made with unhealthy fats and offers very little nutrition. But homemade mayonnaise is a whole different story. As long as you don’t eat it by the spoonful, you’re safe.
Alas, today I don’t even have to make a stand for mayo, because it turns out that yogurt mixed with Ras el Hanout, mint, and parsley makes a phenomenal dressing.
This Moroccan Potato Salad’s got a little extra something going on, thanks to the Ras el Hanout. With its notes of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander it makes the potato salad tastes like Arabian Nights.
But rest assured, it will certainly be a crowd pleaser at any old outdoor gathering you might get up to, and I hope you do get up to some of that good living soon.
A couple of notes. When making potato salad use a waxy variety, such as red bliss, fingerling or Yukon Golds. They will keep their shape while cooking.
Also, cut the potatoes into uniform pieces, so they cook evenly.
Finally, prepare the potato salad ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge before serving, so that the sauce can be absorbed by the potatoes.
Serves 8 as a side
2 lb / 900 g potatoes, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
½ cup / 125 g Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
½ cup loosely packed chopped mint
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
½ cup dry cured black olives, roughly chopped (optional)
Put potato cubes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and add salt.
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook until just tender yet still retain some crunch, about 6 to 8 minutes since it starts to simmer.
Using a slotted spoon, fish the potatoes out of the water and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt while they're still warm. Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add Ras el Hanout and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Set aside.
Pour ras el hanout-infused olive oil over potatoes, and mix to combine.
Add yogurt, vinegar, chopped mint, lemon zest, orange zest, and black olives (if using) and gently combine.
Take a taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Serve!
One serving yields 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein.