It’s time to zhoosh up potato salad for a low-stress, high impress summer side dish! As I debated the options on how to do just that, a quick glance in my veggie drawer made the answer obvious, asparagus and radishes. My initial thought was, “seriously?”. First off, my family doesn’t like radishes (but I do — which is why they are in the fridge). Second, I’m not a fan of raw asparagus. While it certainly can be enjoyed raw, as long as it’s sliced thin to make the tough stalks easier to chew, it’s not my cup of tea. That’s when it occurred to me that I could roast the radishes and the asparagus.
If you’ve never had roasted radishes, you are in for a treat! Roasting transforms these pungent, peppery bulbs into tame, slightly sweet, and juicy, tender gems. The non-radish lover won’t even realize what they are eating in this salad, with the change in taste and texture. As for the asparagus, roasting brings out its best qualities both in flavor and tenderness.
Crispy-tender is the desired end result for roasting both the radishes and the asparagus. Once that was settled, it seemed a no-brainer to roast the potatoes. I mean, why use another pan and heat up the stovetop? And, besides the easy/breezy clean-up (which I am all about), roasted potatoes are healthier than boiled potatoes. I use yellow (Yukon Gold) potatoes almost exclusively. They don’t require peeling, have a buttery flavor, don’t turn brown as quickly as other varieties of potatoes when sliced, and work equally well for baking, boiling, roasting, and mashing. For this recipe, I picked out the smaller potatoes from the bag and cut them in half. The larger potatoes, I cut in quarters. The potatoes need to be roughly the same size, so they roast evenly.
Along with prepping the potatoes, the radishes need to be cut in half (lengthwise). The asparagus needs to be trimmed (simply take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks) and cut into two-inch pieces. While you have the cutting board out, go ahead and slice up the green onion for the herby dressing. The fresh thyme and fresh parsley leaves need to be stripped off the stems and given a light chop. I chose thyme because I grow it in my herb garden. Tarragon would also provide good flavor.
Fresh herbs can’t be beat! However, they can be a pain to work with – stripping the leaves off of thyme takes a couple of minutes. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, dried herbs will work just fine. My window herb garden (call it a pandemic hobby) is a recent addition to my kitchen arsenal; I cooked with dried herbs for most of my career.
As with most recipes, the oven needs to be preheated. This time, however, the baking sheet pan, lined with foil, goes in the oven while it’s being preheated.
The dressing calls for buttermilk, not enough to warrant buying it, but it is an essential ingredient. The super-easy solution is to make it by adding ¾ teaspoon lemon juice (or white vinegar) to a ¼ cup of milk. Do this during the prep stage, and you will have the necessary buttermilk by the time you get to making the herby dressing. For more info on buttermilk, check out my video, podcast, or blog.
To me, stress-free cooking starts with mise-en-place (prep and organization) and ends with easy-peasy clean-up. In this case, the clean-up begins with the prep—line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. When you’re done roasting all the veggies, just throw it away. At most, the baking pan will need a quick rinse. Another tip for reducing clean-up is using a plastic bag to combine the potatoes and radishes with oil and seasoning. This bag will also be used for the asparagus in a later step.
Transfer the oiled and seasoned potatoes and radishes to the prepped baking sheet/pan in a single layer, avoid over-crowding so the veg roasts, not steam. In a preheated oven (425°F), roast for 15 minutes, stirring at the 10-minute mark.
While the potato/radishes are roasting, coat the asparagus in oil and seasoning. Add the asparagus to the baking pan and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes until the potatoes are tender and asparagus is tender-crisp.
To make the herby dressing, whisk tother the mayo, buttermilk, vinegar, parsley, green onions, thyme, mustard, and salt and pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl.
Drizzle desired amount of dressing over potato salad and if desired, garnish with parsley and a dusting of paprika. The salad is best served warm. However, it refrigerates well, and the leftovers taste even better after the herbs have really had a chance to their thing. This dressing is really, really good!!!
Roasted Potato, Asparagus, and Radish Salad with Herby DressingCourse: Sides, SaladsCuisine: American, SummerDifficulty: Easy
Upgrade your traditional potato salad with roasted potatoes, radishes, and asparagus baked on a sheet pan and served warm with a tangy, herbaceous dressing that will earn rave reviews all summer long!
1 pounds small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup radishes, halved lengthwise (aprox 10 radishes)
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole buttermilk
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 or 2 green onions, chopped (about a tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon stone ground mustard
Optional: paprika and parsley, for garnish
- Prep: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F with the baking sheet inside. Clean and cut potatoes in halves or quarters (even sizes.) Clean and slice radishes lengthwise. Clean, trim and cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Make buttermilk (if necessary) Chop parsley, green onion, and thyme.
- Place potatoes and radishes in a ziplock bag (or a bowl). Add 1½ tablespoons of the oil, 1⁄4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; toss well to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer on a hot baking sheet. (Save bag or bowl for the asparagus.) Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, stir and return to oven for another 5 minutes.
- While the potatoes and radishes are roasting, combine the asparagus, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and 1⁄8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in the same plastic bag or bowl used for the potatoes. Toss well to coat. Remove baking sheet from oven; stir potato mixture again. Add asparagus mixture, spreading in a single layer. Bake until potatoes are tender and asparagus is tender-crisp for about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, parsley, green onions, thyme, mustard, and remaining 1⁄8 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over potato salad. Garnish with parsley and a dusting of paprika. The salad is best served warm. However, it refrigerates well, and the leftovers taste even better!
- Potatoes: 1lb = 8 new potatoes or 5 Yukon Gold or 3 russet potatoes
- Buttermilk: 1/4 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk + 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- Herbs: Fresh is best, but dried thyme and parsley are just fine. If desired, substitute tarragon for the thyme
- Tip: If potatoes are sticking to the foil, give a light spray of canola or olive oil cooking spray