Spring has arrived and I am already thinking of summer! For me, summer meals are all about barbecues with a fantastic array of side dishes and salads. And one of the easiest side dishes to prepare is roasted potatoes. Sure, a simple plate of roasted potatoes with some garlic and herbs is tasty but even better is something like this roasted potato salad with capers, lemon and plenty of fresh flat-leaf parsley. There’s no mayo in this salad. I don’t do mayonnaise potato salads. I like to keep the dressing simple with a little olive oil, lemon, a touch of grainy mustard and of course a good dose of sea salt (potatoes need salt!) and some pepper. Yes. Summer. Sunshine. Outdoors. Plenty of potato salad.
So this is where I admit that I am a lowly city dweller who sadly doesn’t have a balcony or a terrace or any outdoor space to think of. So what to do? Deny reality and bring the feelings of summer indoors. Or make a big batch of something terrific like this roasted potato salad and bring it to the next grill session in the park or to one of those friends of mine who are fortunate enough to have a small expanse of green. Oh wait. They don’t exist. The friends do of course, but the gardens don’t. I can count on two fingers how many of my friends have kids. That’s right. Two. The whole lot of us are city dwellers. The two with kids, well, they are already planning their move to dreamy little boxes in the burbs. Dear friends with future gardens, open your doors, we will be there in summer…with a nice roasted potato salad of course.
So back to bringing summer feeling inside until it is warm enough to actually head to the park.
No garden. Yes, hard to imagine as a Canadian girl. I don’t know one single person back in Canada without a garden. I guess this is what I would call part of experiencing the splendors of urban European life — something I absolutely love and wouldn’t trade for the world. But I also have dreams. Which could possibly include a rustic house in the south of France. Just sayin’. Wouldn’t pass it up.
Roasted Potato Salad with Capers & Lemon
Serves 4-6, as a side
Total time: 1 hour
For the potatoes:
1 kg new potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in half diagonally
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
leaves from 4 fresh sprigs of thyme (rosemary also works well)
For the dressing:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To assemble the salad:
2 tablespoons capers (in brine), drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 small bunch)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
2. Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil, scatter the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme sprigs and toss around to coat. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are golden and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and grainy mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Add the capers, green onions, and parsley. Toss with the dressing to combine. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
5. Serve with a green salad, some lentils or give it a try with something from the grill. Enjoy!