Planning our Fourth of July menu last weekend got me thinking about the dearth of really good, fresh, non-heavy potato salad recipes out there. I mean, I’m all for classic American BBQ staples (bring on the fully-loaded hot dogs!), but does anyone really love those mayonnaise-laden potato salads that become soggy (and actually a little scary) left sitting out on a buffet? I set out to give our potato salad a little facelift by throwing handfulls of fresh summer vegetables like cherry tomatoes, crunchy fennel and roasted asparagus in with the potatoes. And I took a few shortcuts, like roasting the asparagus and potatoes on the same pan, that ensured I stood next to a hot oven for as little time as possible so I could go jump in the pool with my friends while the rest of the meal practically made itself on the grill.
This dressing hints at the creaminess found in a classic potato salad, but instead of mayonnaise, I lightened it up with plain yogurt, olive oil and garlic. Since none of the ingredients are prone to wilting, this is definitely a dish that you could make before guests arrive, then let it hang out in the fridge until mealtime. Just don’t skimp on adding all the chopped herbs right before serving: the trio of basil, parsley and mint makes this taste so summery and fresh (and makes the whole thing look really pretty — something that can’t be said of most potato salads.)I’d love to hear how you guys have put a fresh spin on summer classics! Do you have a favorite lightened-up version of potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, french fries… ? Let us know in the comments, and keep reading for the recipe to this Roasted Potato Salad with Fennel, Tomatoes and Asparagus!
Roasted Potato Salad with Fennel, Tomatoes & Asparagus
*serves 6 as a side dish
- 1 pound baby potatoes, halved if larger than the others
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and shaved on a mandoline (reserve fronds for garnish)
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved.
- 2 tablespoons each of chopped basil, parsley and mint.
- zest of 1 lemon
- coarse sea salt, to taste (I like Maldon)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove pan from oven.
- Add asparagus to the pan, and toss everything together, then spread in an even layer to continue roasting for another 10 minutes. Let cool, then slice asparagus into 2-inch pieces.
- Make dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, greek yogurt, garlic and agave nectar with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Add asparagus, potatoes, shaved fennel and cherry tomatoes to the bowl, and toss everything around to coat evenly with dressing.
- Garnish salad with chopped herbs, lemon zest, chopped fennel fronds and a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt, and serve.