This is one of those sides that are perfect for lightening and brightening a heavier meal, that is interesting and tasty, but requires minimal ingredients and almost no time. Simple, but perfect, especially in warmer weather.Read More
Sometimes you combine two things and it really doesn’t work at all. Like Grape Nuts and oatmeal. That didn’t work. But sometimes imagination and reality match up beautifully, like in this potato salad. I had volunteered to bring potato salad to a bbq potluck but I wanted something more interesting than your standard American version. Esquites is just the off-the-cob version of the Mexican street corn called elotes, which is corn that gets charred and slathered in a creamy, zesty combination of mayo, crema, cotija, cilantro, and lime. It’s one of those dishes that makes your taste buds go crazy with textures and flavors. Perfect for tossing with some plain potatoes and turning into something delicious and interesting!
You will love this salad. So will anyone you share it with. Make it for your next BBQ! Or make it for your Easter luncheon. We had it for dinner with black beans and slaw. It’s really good warm or room temperature but it can be served cold, too. I never find roasted potatoes to keep amazingly well for the next day, but this holds up alright because of all the yummy extras.
A note about the roasting: I love the extra flavor and texture dimension that roasted potatoes add to this salad, but you could just as easily boil the potatoes until tender and then let cool a bit. They might soak up a bit more of the dressing, but that’s nothing to complain about!
warm esquites potato salad
serves 4-6, can easily be doubled or tripled
2.5 - 3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 3/4 inch chunks (I use gold or russet potatoes)
4 Tbsp vegetable oil, separated
4 ears corn, shucked
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced fine
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lime
1/3 cup feta or cotija, crumbled
First the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 475. Put the chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Salt the water well! Potatoes absorb a lot of salt while cooking, giving them flavor; otherwise they will be bland. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for just a few minutes until the potatoes are just about fork tender but not quite. Drain. Place a large baking sheet in the oven with 1 Tbsp of oil and let it heat up.
Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over the potatoes in the large pot. Cover the pot with a lid and shake the potatoes around pretty vigorously to coat the potatoes with the softened starch and the vegetable oil. This will result in very crispy edges when roasted. (Note: if you boil your potatoes too much they may fall apart at this stage so be careful!)
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, tipping and shaking gently to spread the heated oil. Carefully dump the potatoes out onto the pan and spread out. Give them a sprinkle of salt, then stick the pan back in the oven.
Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender, crispy and golden brown, turning over the potatoes midway. Remove and let sit while you make the esquites.
For the esquites: Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice.
Carefully slice the kernals from the cob using a sharp knife. Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the corn, sprinkle with a bit of salt, stir a bit, and then let sit and cook and develop a little brown on the underside. Stir after a few minutes and let the other side brown for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for just a minute.
Scrape the corn into a large bowl. Add the sour cream mayo mixture and stir well to coat.
Add the potatoes and toss well to combine. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temp.
March seemed to fly by, but not so fast that we didn’t savor the slow thawing of the earth and the promise of warmer days to come. There is something marvelous when the color of budding leaves makes its appearance on the trees, seemingly overnight. All of a sudden, there is an abundant chirping of birds and cacophony of frogs too. A striking shift that creeps in unawares. It never ceases to surprise.Read More
I love this kind of salad so much. It’s colorful, it’s hearty, it’s nutritious, and it tastes delicious on top of all that. I serve a basic old house salad with every dinner, so a salad like this is kind of like a treat. It’s also a perfect side salad to fill out a meal that needs just a little more substance on the side.
Alternatively, you can throw grains (like farro, barley, or quinoa) or roasted veggies (Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are my personal fave) and make this a legit meal. It makes a delicious lunch or a lighter dinner. With all the different elements and flavors you end up feeling totally satisfied.Read More
This salad is a delight. It's so fresh and flavorful and the perfect accompaniment to barbecue, spicy Mexican, or any lighter spring/summer meal. Fresh sweet corn contrasts with salty feta and the zing of the lime bounces around in your mouth with the herby cool of cilantro. The fresh zucchini gets softened by the vinaigrette but keeps a pleasantly firm texture which it otherwise loses when cooked.Read More
This is by no means be a precise recipe. It's just the rough framework I use as a springboard for creativity and for freeing myself from both mass-produced grocery store salad dressings and over-involved recipes I've tried. I whip this up in the last minutes of dinner prep, easy peasy, adjusting it slightly so that it complements whatever we're eating. Don't be dismayed or annoyed by my lack of specifics! Just try it out, adjust to taste, and you're good to go.Read More