roasted potato salad with lemongrass vinaigrette

It was plenty that introduced me to the idea of using a vinaigrette as a sauce for roasted vegetables, and why not: vinaigrette is one of the french mother sauces after all.  So if you can call roasted vegetables a salad, and you can, then this is a fantastic roasted potato salad.

roasted potato salad

4-5 medium sized potatoes, washed and cut into 3/4″ pieces, skin on

2 large carrots, washed and cut in to 3/4″ pieces, skin on

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and black pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/2 cup chopped chinese celery or parsley

1/4 cup chopped scallions

lemongrass vinaigrette

1 stalk lemongrass

six slices of ginger

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped

1/2 tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

salt

make it happen

1. preheat oven to 400℉

2. add vegetable oil to chopped potato and carrot in a mixing bowl.  Add a good amount of salt and black pepper, maybe 2tsp of each or more (you can always adjust this later (why am I telling you this like you’re an idiot.  you know this already. sorry))

3. place in oven and roast for 40 minutes or so.  Turn every 15 minutes to prevent sticking.  You may also want to grease your baking tray with oil.

meanwhile, prepare the lemongrass vinaigrette.  I have no idea why I thought of making a lemongrass vinaigrette, except that I liked the aroma and taste of lemongrass in soups and other dishes.  So I looked up some stuff on the internet, and produced the following, which is an amalgam of various things that I found.

4. trim most of the green part off the lemongrass, then peel, smash with the back of your knife, and chop finely.  Add to a sauce pan. Cut six slices of ginger (skin on is fine) and add to the sauce pan with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water.

5. bring to boil and then cook down until you have 1/4 cup or less.  Strain into a jar.

A jar?  Yes, I’ve been converted into using jar technology to make a vinaigrette.  You can mix the ingredients together more vigorously and it’s less messy, and it’s easier to precisely measure everything you are adding.  And also fun.

6. To this jar, add the lemon juice, olive  oil, soy sauce, sriacha, garlic, and salt (to taste).

First of all, I have to mention that I was using a very fresh, gorgeous garlic that I had just bought at the hollywood farmer’s market.  The skin was soft and not dry like with regular garlic; it was interesting.  It smells and looks fantastic.  We could even smell it in the car on the ride home as it overpowered the rest of our produce.

I’m going to do something with those garlic tops too, just you wait and see (any suggestions?).

Anyway, this is what your vinaigrette looks like pre-mixing.

7. SHAKE IT!!

then it looks like this:

You may have to shake it up again before you add it to the salad.

Speaking of, back to our potatoes

8. Take the vegetables out of the oven and put them back in the mixing bowl

9. Add basil and chinese celery and mix

I grew to love celery cress last summer.  It’s really a wonderful garnish/herb to use.  All the flavor and brightness of celery without the water and fiber.  What’s known as “chinese celery” is particularly good in this regard, because it’s mostly cress with nothing resembling what you might usually consider to be a celery stalk. It looks like this.

I used both the stem and the leaves.  The flavor is strong but mixes well with the other flavors in this salad, so feel free to use more of it (and of the basil).

10.  Add a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and the scallions, and season with salt to taste.  The vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.  At least two, since it’s been two days since I’ve made it and it’s still good.  In fact I just used it today on an arugula  salad.  But I digress.

11.  Serve with brown rice cooked with some fresh garlic, as I did.  Or not, as you like.

Tangy, spicy, sweet, sour, salty, umami, this salad has it all.  The roasted vegetables are robust enough to absorb and complement the intense flavor the vinaigrette and the sweet freshness of the herbs.  The scallions, oddly, push it over the top, adding a fresh, pungent, crunchy element to the salad.  The vinaigrette, meanwhile,  is strongly lemon flavored (because I used lemon juice instead of a vinegar) but also carries the umami from the soy and the aroma and flavors of the lemongrass and ginger in the background (flavors which become more prominent when you eat the leftovers the next day).  The cayenne and sriracha add the necessary, sparkly heat.  Usually food I make is somewhat generically good, but nothing to write home about, much less blog about.  But I wouldn’t go on about this if I didn’t surprise myself this time.

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7 Responses to roasted potato salad with lemongrass vinaigrette

  1. Rachel M. says:

    there’s something wrong with me, because warm weather makes me suddenly crave roasted vegetables. this looks great.

  2. Pingback: miso-glazed salmon « ducks & turtles

  3. Rachel M. says:

    ooh!! also!! this looks like PICNIC FOOD!

  4. aem321 says:

    you could even bring the vinaigrette in a jar and mix it on the spot.

  5. Tamara Beauchamp says:

    That Plenty mustardy vinaigrette for roasted veggies has basically rendered all previous iterations of roasted vegetables null and void at our house.

  6. aem321 says:

    I have not yet matched Yotam Ottolenghi’s level of culinary ingenuity yet, but that’s what fellowship years are for, I guess… 😉

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