Can't make up your mind which salad you want, the classic Caesar or a fully loaded potato salad. Have both together in the Caesar Oven-Roasted Potato Salad.
There is something very evocative about childhood food memories. Maybe it is the remembrance of a special treat, a candy bar, or chocolate cake (https://tenpoundcakecompany.com/about). My neighbor to this day can't eat green beans because of a childhood memory of having to taste one and then promptly vomiting. A little extreme, sure. But it illustrates how vivid food memories remain with us.
My mother was known in our extended family for her potato salad. Called Auntie Joanie's, it was made with Miracle Whip, pickle juice, celery, and onions. Not an unusual recipe, but one that everyone looked forward to at picnics or barbeques. I can still see the big yellow Pyrex bowl, filled to the brim with potato salad, garnished with the requisite sprinkling of paprika.
I wanted to create a potato salad that I will look forward to, just like my mother's. But I will mix it up a bit with some different veggies and also use Caesar salad as inspiration.
The motivation for this oven-roasted potato salad was to use one pan. Robust flavors and a variety of textures are must-haves. To that end, set the oven at 425 degrees. This is important because the sheet pan is going to be heated in the oven. When the cut sides of potatoes hit the hot pan, you should hear a sizzle. A crispy texture is being created. Then one by one, corn and leeks are added in order of their roasting time.
Caesar dressing is one of those food products that can scare people. The thought of raw egg yolks is enough to turn them off caesar dressing. But I think the eggs add richness as well as color to the dressing. I tried a couple of different methods of "cooking" the egg yolks (I went through a lot of eggs).
Finally, I decided to use hard-boiled egg yolks. Adding some hot water will reconstitute the yolks. But I can't leave well enough alone. Since potatoes can be bland, I want to add more flavor. Whole grain mustard adds some acidity as well as some punchy flavor. Combine with the other ingredients such as anchovy paste, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender or a food processor until the dressing comes together.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and pour them into a bowl. Add some of the Caesar dressing. The warm vegetables will soak it up. Then, let everything cool to room temperature.
Remember, I promised two salads in one? Once the roasted vegetables have cooled to room temperature, it is time for another Caesar component such as romaine. The freshness of the greens brightens up the salad as well as adds some texture. I add the lettuce just before serving so that it stays crisp. Lastly, add the feta cheese with a big tablespoon of fresh dill fronds. You may want to check the dressing coverage in the salad. Is there enough? You don't want a dry salad.
You can serve the potato salad on a bed of greens rather than incorporating them in with all the other ingredients. Just make sure to toss the lettuce with the remaining dressing.
Nothing replaces Mom's
In my memories, nothing replaces Auntie Joanie's potato salad. It is memorable in its simplicity, its appeal, and its inspiration. However, Caesar Oven-Roasted Potato Salad is a recipe that I appreciate for its distinctive combination of ingredients.
This roasted one-pan salad is my vote for this summer's potlucks and get together's. Ease of prep and full of flavor is a combination almost as good as potato salad and Caesar salad!
Caesar Oven-Roasted Potato Salad
- sheet pan
- blender or small food processor
- cutting board
- 3 egg yolks from hard-boiled eggs
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes roughly 5 cups
- 2 ears corn approximately 1 cup
- 1 leek large, 1 cup sliced
- 3 cups romaine lettuce sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill fronds
- Add three hard-boiled egg yolks, anchovy paste, whole grain mustard, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Blend or pulse for about 20 seconds.
- Add hot water and lemon juice to the egg mix. Process until the ingredients are a smooth paste.
- Add olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Makes approximately ⅝ of a cup.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Put a sheet pan in the oven for at least 5 minutes so that it gets really hot.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut again into smaller pieces widthwise.
- Add the potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Toss until the potatoes are completely covered in oil.
- Take the hot sheet pan out of the oven. Place the potatoes cut side down on the sheet pan. You should hear a little sizzle. Make sure all potatoes are in a single layer.
- Roast for 28-30 minutes. You may want to turn the pan around in the oven and flip the potatoes over, after 14-15 minutes to make sure they roast evenly. Then put the pan back in the oven to complete roasting for another 14-15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are roasting, cut the corn off the cob. Add to the bowl you used for the potatoes and stir. The corn should be coated in oil. You may add another teaspoon of oil to the bowl if all the kernels are not covered. After the potatoes have roasted for 28-30 minutes, add the corn to the pan. Put it back in the oven and continue roasting for 12 minutes.
- While the corn and potatoes are in the oven, slice the leeks into ⅜ inch pieces. Again add the leeks to the bowl used for the other veggies. Toss to cover with remaining olive oil.
- Add the leeks to the pan of roasting vegetables and continue cooking in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Pour the warm, roasted vegetables into a bowl. Toss with ⅔ of the caesar dressing. Let cool. Save the remaining dressing to the side.
- Just before serving, add the lettuce, feta cheese, and dill fronds to the room temperature potato mixture. Check the coverage of caesar dressing. If the salad is dry, add the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.