Potato salad is one of those classic side dishes that deserves some extra love here and there. I know that I am guilty of resorting to make it without much effort when I run out ideas for something quick and easy - I will usually just throw together a dressing of Dijon and yogurt, maybe add a few spices and a vegetable or two for crunch, and of course the potatoes, roughly cut and then boiled or roasted at the last second. Ironically, even though it comes together quite fast, this type of potato salad tends to taste better when it has had some time for the flavors to sit and meld together - they are often so drowned out by the creamy sauce at first that no other ingredient has the potential to shine through right away.
But what if the potato salad dressing reversed the proportions - heavier on the seasoning and lighter on the creamy component - could that work? Well yes, it definitely can! All it takes is a simple fix to make that immediate dining experience so much tastier without eliminating any of the expected texture that is expected for this dish.
Looking to really pack in some flavor, I knew from the start I should add in some sort of fiery element since that would not need any time to infuse- after gravitating towards chipotle powder for a touch of smokiness too, I decided that a Mexican-flair seemed fitting across the board. So I immediately grabbed some black beans and then had the best idea! The liquid from the black beans should be used for the base of the dressing. Not only does it have a little body naturally, but it also meant that I would not have to waste this byproduct that often gets tossed. Since this would create the base for my sauce, I only needed a touch of something creamy to truly finish it off with that mouthfeel - I went for some yogurt since I didn't have any mayonnaise, but the tang would be reminiscent of sour cream as well, so it was very fitting with my theme.
For the rest of the ingredients, I sought out my favorite taco items that would add a variety of colors, textures, and taste notes to the salad: red onions pickled with some lime for brightness, radishes for a fresh and clean bite, pistachios for a softer crunch, goat cheese for some added creaminess, and cilantro for a vibrant herby finish. Not too much prep was involved (only a little bit of chopping and crumbling), but because each ingredient was chosen so that it would hold its own unique stance amongst the others, I knew that the end product would really have the integrity that a potato salad could garner.
Thankfully, a potato salad with a greater purpose and intensity can be whipped up in no time at all because you will want to make a giant batch of this one to enjoy for many days. Even though it is very simple and could be made day after day, we still want to prep smart, not hard, for who knows what each day will bring. So grab your largest bowl, your chipotle, and as many potatoes as you can find; the sooner you get to try this delightful dish, the more fired up you will be for whatever you need to accomplish since your hunger cravings will be totally blown away!
Chipotle-Spiced Potato Salad
Yield: 8 servings
4 cups Waxy Potatoes, medium-diced (Yukon Gold, Red Bliss)
1/2 cup Pistachios (can substitute any nut you like, just make certain to chop it into bite-size pieces)
1/2 Red Onion (can substitute Shallot or White Onion)
1 cup Black Beans (save the aquafaba after draining, can substitute Chickpeas or Red Kidney Beans)
4 Large Breakfast Radishes
1/2 cup Goat Cheese
1 cup Cilantro, loosely packed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 ounces Black Bean Aquafaba
2 T Tomato Paste
4 T Yogurt (can substitute Sour Cream)
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder (can substitute Ancho Chili or Cayenne)
1/8 tsp Salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Season the potatoes with salt and a bit of olive oil. Roast them on a sheet tray with parchment paper for 15-20 minutes, just until they lose their crunch.
Toast the pistachios on a sheet tray for 7 minutes.
Small dice the red onion and combine it in a small bowl with the juice of the lime and a pinch of salt. Set aside to pickle.
Drain the black beans (save the liquid) and rinse them. Pour into a large bowl.
Small dice the breakfast radishes, crumble the goat cheese, and rough chop the cilantro. Put the radishes in the large bowl and set the goat cheese and cilantro aside.
In a small pot, whisk together the aquafaba and the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 1/3. Add in the yogurt, chipotle, and salt and stir together until smooth. Keep warm in the pot on the stove with the heat off.
When the potatoes are done, place them in the large bowl along with the dressing. Add the pickled red onions, goat cheese, cilantro, and pistachios and mix until everything is well-incorporated.
Serve immediately (it can also be served cold, but it is more enjoyable warm. If you have any left over, you can warm it up just a little in the microwave whenever you are ready to eat it again).