Roast potatoes tossed with mayonnaise, a touch of mustard and...

Roast potatoes tossed with mayonnaise, a touch of mustard and a splash of vinegar make an extraordinary potato salad. (August 2022) Credit: Marge Perry

There is one simple thing you can do that will amp up the flavor and texture of your potato salad, taking it to new heights. This trick turns a simple potato salad, which often gets mushy and pasty, into the barbecue side people rave about.

Roasting the chunks of potato in a hot oven forms a nice crisp coating on each piece. When you toss it with the dressing, the chunks keep their crusty exterior and are soft and creamy inside.

Once you make roasted potato salad, you may never go back to the old boiled method. But by all means, do use this method as a basis for the dish you love. Add cooked bacon, scallions, parsley, diced red bell peppers — whatever you like in your potato salad. And do let the potatoes be the star — dressing should enhance but not overwhelm the dish.

Roast Potato Salad

2 pounds red bliss potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste), divided

1/3 cup mayo

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Place them in a single layer on the sheet pan with a cut (not skin) side facing down. Roast until the underside is browned, about 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes so a second cut side faces down and roast another 10 minutes, until the center is soft when pierced with a tooth pick, and two sides are browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and black pepper in a bowl.

3. Toss the potatoes with the celery and the dressing. The salad may be made in several hours in advance and refrigerated. Allow to sit at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.