Potato

A Genius, Extra-Crispy Path to Roasted Potatoes

November  8, 2017

In Toro Bravo, the cookbook, this recipe is modestly called “Potato Salad.” But have you ever seen a potato salad do this?

This so-called salad is served warm in loose tangles instead of a slick, cold mound, with flavors feistier and brighter than potato salads usually get to wear. But most importantly, it’s everything you want a potato to be—from the other side of the spectrum: golden, well-salted, and crisp all over. If you can imagine a salad with the heart of a bag of salt & vinegar chips, this is it.

Getting this effect is simple (and fast): It’s a matter of roasting the potatoes in thin disks on scorching baking sheets, then giving the potatoes a final crisping under the broiler.

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Each cut side is exposed to the maximum searing dry heat (and seasoning and olive oil) to bring out its best extra-crispy qualities—while leaving just enough softness in the middle to keep it in the potato salad family, and not quite a chip.

If any of the potato not-chips stick to the pan, no fear: You splash a little vinegar onto the baking sheet to deglaze and release them. Warm potatoes also absorb dressings better, as good German potato salad recipes will tell you, so the sharp vinaigrette pierces through.

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Top Comment:
“Would using parchment paper detract from the desired result of the potato salad?”
— Francesca T.
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You’ll have sizzled together the rest of the salad in the meantime—soft, sweet curls of onion and garlic, smoky chorizo, and a final splash of vinegar—which can all quickly latch on to the warm potatoes, too.

The Toro Bravo cookbook credits one of the Portland restaurant's opening cooks Ryan Bleibtrey with the technique, though it’s continued to evolve since then. “Through the years this recipe has gotten better and better," the recipe’s headnote explains. "With every cook who’s put his or her touch on it.”

The salad (“salad”) is outrageously good with fried eggs, seared bluefish or grilled mussels, a gaggle of other salads, or all on its own. Make it the next time you want a lost sack of potatoes to quickly turn into something spectacular—like during the holidays when you're in need of an impressive, low-lift recipe that will wake everyone up. Or just tonight.

Photos by Julia Gartland

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]. Thank you to Alejandra Ramos of Always Order Dessert for this one!

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11 Comments

Maureen November 30, 2017
Will russets work?<br />
 
Francesca T. November 15, 2017
Question about the addition of vinegar: I use a sturdy Nordic Ware baking pan with lip (one that doesn't warp in oven). But it's aluminum, which means the vinegar could discolor it. Would using parchment paper detract from the desired result of the potato salad?
 
Brenda November 10, 2017
Gentle reminder Food 52: please don't use the phrase "spirit animal." It is an appropriation (and big misunderstanding) of indigenous cultures and y'all are cooler than that.
 
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Kristen M. November 10, 2017
Hi Brenda, thank you for saying something (and saying so gently is always much appreciated). I've updated the article to reflect your great feedback.
 
bmallorca October 24, 2018
Good point. FYI, there's one more instance of the phrase on this page: https://food52.com/recipes/74147-toro-bravo-s-warm-potato-salad-with-vinegar-and-chorizo?utm_campaign=20181024_eds_weeklygenius_nonbuyer&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_term=14861829
 
Deborah S. November 9, 2017
Is Spanish chorizo spicey hot? Don't care for the heat but always love the flavor!
 
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Kristen M. November 9, 2017
You can buy it spicy or sweet (but even the spicy I tried recently wasn't terribly hot!).
 
Heidi V. November 8, 2017
Would this work as well wth sweet potatoes? I've got a bunch I need to get through before I can purchase another potato type
 
Ian S. November 8, 2017
Delicious they might be, but please don't call these roast potatoes, they are what you Americans call thick potato chips! Get a UK Sunday lunch into you with proper roasters (best in duck fat) then tell me these are the real thing!!
 
Evan L. November 9, 2017
Actually it was inspired with a heavy influence of all things Mediterranean.
 
Nancy November 8, 2017
I've used this technique at home and the results are delicious!