Mayo loves smokey flavors - and perfectly grilled summer corn, scallions, and potatoes add to the party. I love watercress - it has a nice fresh bite that works really well with creamy sauces. If you can't find watercress - arugula works as a stand-in. This is a perfect side to you next backyard barbeque. RE: mayo based sauces - my experience is that the amount of mayo in a potato salad (or any salad for that matter) is a really personal choice - lots of people have strong feelings - so bear that in mind adding the mayo to the salad - start with 1/2 and see where you fall on the mayo-use spectrum :) Same goes for smoked paprika - I like it to be strong so I go with the full 2 teaspoons but that is not a universal - it also depends greatly on the brand of smoked paprika you use and how strong it is. I used Penzey's. —meganvt01
Test Kitchen Notes
Potato salad is often used to describe obligatory side dishes heavy with mayonnaise. Here, it is reinvented with the addition of smoked paprika and corn. This recipe highlights corn’s toothsome butteriness, and its honey-like sweetness cuts through the velvety mayonnaise. The watercress and scallions were the real surprise: they provided a fresh flavor in an otherwise “cooked” dish. On the plate, the textures and colors were stunning next to grilled chateaubriand steak. The potatoes, uncut and in an aluminum pouch, absorb the smoky flavors of the grill at the sacrifice only of grill marks. -Kristen Orser —Food52
small red potatoes, scrubbed
ears of corn, husked and silks removed
cloves of garlic - not peeled - skewered on a wooden stick
To pre-cook the potatoes, place them whole in a stock pot of boiling salted water and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until they are just tender (this will depend greatly on the size of your potatoes). Drain and cool slightly so you can handle them. Cut in half or in quarters - depending on the size of your potatoes (but big enough that they can sit on your grill grates and not fall through).
Light your grill to medium high. Brush your potatoes, corn, scallions, and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the potatoes until they have nice grill marks - but they should be cooked through in step one.
Grill the corn about 5 minutes - until it is nicely browned and charred in some spots. Grill the scallions about 2 minutes per side - until browned. Cook the garlic skewers on a cooler area of the grill, turning frequently, until the clove is softened but does not burn. (depending on the size of the clove - 8-10 minutes).
Place the potatoes in a bowl. Cut the corn off the cob and chop the scallions and place them in the bowl with the potatoes.
Make the dressing: Peel and crush the garlic into a paste. Mix it with the mayo, (1-2 teaspoons - see headnote) smoked paprika, cumin, champagne vinegar, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the watercress to the potato mixture and pour the dressing over (see headnote - first start with half and add more to reach your desired creaminess) and fold in gently. Taste for seasoning. Can be served slightly warm, at room temp, or chilled.
After spending years in school while working full time, I'm happy to finally have my evenings pursuing my other passion, cooking! I have a 4 year old boy and a husband that are both adventurous eaters and supportive tasters. I spend a good bit of my vacation travel preparation researching local and regional foods and my friends all make fun of my food obsession.
I've always been pretty confident with my techniques cooking from recipes but I am enjoying Food52's challenge of putting those techniques to work for my own versions of my favorite foods. I love to learn and the group of people that contribute to this site are a great resource.
As an Annapolis native, I love to cook with our local produce and seafood whenever possible. I try to support our community of fisherman, farmers, other food producers and chefs as much as possible.