Some things were just meant to be.
Macaroni & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, Sonny & Cher...
Wait, scratch that last one.
Not all things are meant to be, but a picnic without potato salad, well, that's just wrong on many levels.
Growing up, there were several events that I could count on every summer; camping at the coast without a toilet or hot water for 2 weeks, getting up at 4 a.m. to go strawberry picking so I could buy that pair of $40 bell-bottom jeans, a family reunion with boy cousins that were so cute one could only hide behind a tree, crying, "WHYYYYYYY!!!", and food poisoning caused by Aunt So & So's potato salad that had sat on the table for 8 hours.
I learned a lot of lessons during my summer breaks. I learned to squat at just the right angle, and how to take a cold hose "shower" in the middle of the Salal berry bushes without being seen. I learned that Levi's were a better choice of jeans because unlike $40 bell-bottoms, Levi's never go out of style, and at $1.50/flat, that was a lot of strawberries to pick. I learned that my boy cousins, while cute, had a very limited vocabulary of "home-run", "dug-out", and "first-string", and when they ran out of words, they just stood there with their hands in their pockets, seeing how far each one could spit. (I said cute, not smart.) I also learned to stay away from the potato salad at reunions.
Some of us have missions in life to fulfill. Mine was to find a potato salad that would not only taste good, but could sit out on the picnic table for hours and not cause violent retching hours later. If you've never had food poisoning, you won't understand, but I'll try to help you grasp this knowledge. Carol Burnett once described childbirth pain as, "take your bottom lip, pull it over the top of your head..."
I would rather give birth, standing up on the side of the interstate, to an 18 lb. child, who comes out sideways, with my lip pulled over the top of my head, than go through the torture of food poisoning.
Now that you're good and scared of traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad's, give this tangy mayo-free version a try. You may never go back to mayo again.☺
~Roasted Potato Salad~
6 Tb. olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3 lbs. thin-skinned potatoes, diced to bite-size (use organic!)
2 Tb. citrus-based vinegar (I used a champagne vinegar)
2 t. Dijon mustard
3-4 Tb. olive oil
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh, chopped basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix 6 Tb. olive oil, garlic, salt/pepper, thyme, rosemary, and potatoes together on a large baking pan (with sides). Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nicely browned and soft.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on counter until room temperature. When cooled, place potatoes in large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, and 3-4 Tb. olive oil together. Pour vinegar/oil mixture over potatoes and toss to coat.
Add green onions and basil, mixing well.
Check salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
Allow to sit on counter for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to mesh.
And the best part? Serve at room temperature!