I'm always a fan of a potato salad but I'll admit that sometimes I'm looking for something other than that mayo/yoghurt combination to dress my potatoes. Are you with me?
I love that this Bright and Breezy Pesto Potato Salad delivers so much tasty, zesty deliciousness and yet it comes together so very easily. I've replaced the traditional cold, boiled potatoes with golden, roasted potatoes for better taste, texture and I'm loving it. It's also a seriously good-looking dish AND has other salad vegetables in there too, so you can feasibly make it your only side dish.
What's in this Pesto Potato Salad?
So there are 5 main ingredients in this salad -
- Potatoes - the ones I used were waxy and small-ish. I didn't go for the teeny, tiny ones because they always seem to be jaw-droppingly expensive. The ones I chose were a size that warranted cutting each potato into 4 pieces.
- Green Pesto - I made some basil pesto using this recipe. You could equally make some Kale Pesto or buy some fresh pesto from the deli counter. Readymade pesto in a jar would work at a pinch, although the colour of the jarred varieties has a tendency towards greyish rather than a vibrant green and I think that might be a shame. You will almost certainly have some pesto leftover from this salad but it will store in the fridge for a few days and you can rustle up some Pesto Pasta or a few Tomato and Pesto Tarts, if you're in the mood.
- Salad leaves - mine was a bag of mixed leaves. It had quite a high proportion of red leaves and perhaps the salad would have looked more striking with more green leaves. Use what you have and what you like to eat.
- Radishes - I sliced these up into thin slices.
- Spring Onions - I finely sliced these.
- Pickled Red Onions - these are ever-present in our fridge and the citrus acidity is a perfect balance to the richness of the pesto. The pop of pink is also fun (although the jar of onions that I'm using right now is less pink than normal so they were not as impactful in the photos as I'd hoped).
How to make this Pesto Potato Salad
There are only two components of this salad that require any significant preparation - the potatoes and the pesto.
- Make the pesto - choose your recipe (I went for this Basil Pesto) and process all the ingredients in a blender.
- Roast the potatoes - cut them into the size you prefer, toss them in olive oil, spread out in a single layer on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool a little - about 10 minutes works for me
- Slice the radishes and spring onions - do this while the potatoes are roasting.
- Toss the warm potatoes in some of the pesto - the flavours blend better if the potatoes are still a bit warm but it's not essential.
- When you're nearly ready to serve, arrange some of the salad leaves in a serving dish - add the dressed potatoes and sprinkle over the sliced radish and spring onions. Garnish with a few pickled red onions and a few extra salad leaves, if you think it needs it.
- Drizzle with a little extra pesto - if you like.
What I've learned about this Pesto Potato Salad
- You can play around with the proportions to best suit you - I prefer not to drown the salad in too much pesto and I favour a lot of leaves but there are no rules here.
- You can prepare all the parts separately - and then combine them when you're ready to serve.
- It's at its absolute best made and served when the potatoes are still a little warm from the oven - because this way, the potatoes absorb the pesto flavours better. So, in an ideal world, I'd get everything else ready beforehand, roast the potatoes just before I need them and then toss the salad together at the last minute. BUT if this messes with your sanity, ignore it - it's the ideal not essential.
- Bring everything back to room temperature before combining and serving - particularly the potatoes if you've pre-roasted and chilled them.
- The salad leaves go a little limp in any leftovers - this means the salad doesn't look so good the next day, but it still tastes delicious.
- The pickled pink onions really balance the richness of the pesto - (really, is there any meal that they don't improve?) but the salad does work without them, if you don't have any to hand.
4 things you'll love about this salad
- It really is a good-looking dish - vibrant green pesto, golden potatoes, pretty leaves, red radishes, vivid pink onions. A colourful stunner.
- This would be a great buffet dish - and I can imagine it would be popular.
- It's very easy to scale this up or down - I roasted the amount of potatoes for the full recipe quantity, but only wanted to make salad for two of us for dinner. I saved the rest of the roasted potatoes and threw them onto the baking tray for the last few minutes when I was baking some fish the following evening.
- It's an all-in-one salad dish - potatoes, leaves, other vegetables, dressing; so it stands with confidence on its own. I served it with a roast chicken for an easy mid-week dinner and it needed nothing else ♡