Turning left over baked potatoes into a potato salad is one thing, but I have Nigella Lawson to thank for her unfettered intuitiveness in including a recipe for purpose baked potato salad that was published in her Forever Summer cookbook years ago. I’ve been making variations of baked potato salads ever since!
Why use baked rather than the standard practice of boiled potatoes for potato salad? Well, I am not a bonafide food sleuth, but logic would have it that baking potatoes modifies the starch content of the potatoes as water is absorbed into the flesh during the baking process. The results are a fluffier, sweeter, and more flavorsome flesh.
Another tip for intensifying baked potato’s flavor, which I gleaned from my father in law long before I ever took cooking seriously, is to beard (salt) the potatoes before baking. The salt draws out additional moisture during baking, crisps the skin, and further sweetens the flesh.
Baking potatoes in the oven is the preferred method for maximum flavor, but if you are concerned about your carbon footprint or you’re just in a hurry, using the microwave is not a sin! The results are nearly indiscernible in the finished salad.
In the recipe that follows I have used Yukon gold potatoes, but by all means use your baking potato of choice. This is a potato salad I like to pair with seafood. It is decidedly lighter with a crisp flavor spike that mirrors a tarter sauce, if you will, but without being clawing and overly rich, and compliments seafood beautifully.
Ideally make this salad a day in advance. Doing so allows an exchange of flavors that are absorbed into the potatoes.
Baked Potato Salad makes 4 servings
- 4 large baking potatoes
- flaked sea salt for dredging
- 1 onion, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
- 1 cup finely diced young celery
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (or more to taste), or wasabi to taste if you are feeling adventurous
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill leaves or minced broad leaf parsley leaves
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Baking the potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 350f/180c
Spread a good amount of flaked sea salt on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
Rinse the potatoes under cold running water. Using a skewer, poke holes in the potatoes to allow steam to escape during baking. Re moisten the potatoes, shake off excess water and promptly roll the potatoes in the salt to coat evenly. Place the salted potatoes on a baking tray.
Transfer the tray of “bearded” potatoes to the preheated oven and bake for between 1 and 1 ½ hours. The finished potatoes should be a little firmer than a baked potatoes you would intend to serve from oven to table.
For microwave baking, microwave the potatoes for about 8 to 10 minutes. Again the potatoes should be a little firmer than potatoes you intend to serve from microwave to table.
When the potatoes are baked set them aside to cool. When cool enough to handle peel off the skin by hand. No need to be too meticulous as a little skin left intact will add some flavor to the salad.
Transfer the peeled potatoes to a bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.
While the potatoes are chilling you can go ahead and make the dressing.
For the dressing:
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, horseradish (or wasabi), and the vinegar and mix together. Then stir in the yogurt and mix vigorously until well incorporated. Stir in salt, pepper and taste, making adjustments as needed. Chill the dressing until you are ready to finish the salad.
Once the potatoes are chilled remove from the refrigerator and cut the potatoes into bite size cubes and return them to the bowl. Add the onions, celery, and minced dill or parsley and toss until well combined.
Spoon the dressing over the tossed ingredients and fold the salad together being sure the potatoes are evenly coated. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings if needed.
Cover and Refrigerate the salad until you are ready to serve.
Remove the potato salad from the fridge and give it a good stir. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual plates and garnish with minced dill or broad leafy parsley and serve.