Salt Crusted Potato Salad

in Dinner

Salt Crusted Potatoes

Soooo…here’s the thing. It’s not that I hate normal potato salad. I mean, if I’m at a 4th of July party or Super Bowl party and it’s there, I won’t hesitate to put it on my plate (with all the other stuff), but you can bet that it’ll be the last thing on my plate, and I might take a few bites. Might. Cole slaw on the other hand? Gimme. Baked beans YES! Fried jalapeño poppers? Double yes.

Here’s the deal with normal potato salad: the potatoes inside, like, internally are sort of bland. Once you get past the awesome mayonnaise/sauce stuff, the potatoes are just boiled, dry and kind of whatever. Potato salad in general is little meh to me until…wait for it…until NOW!

These potatoes aren’t boiled. We’re doing a salt crust. It’s simpler than it sounds. And fun. And, it takes just as long as it would to put them in a pot with boiling water. The result is a million times better. The potatoes end up with a slightly salty interior. And they actually end up tasting more like potatoes. More earthy. More flavor. More potato-ey.

I’m in love.

Salt Crusted Potatoes

It all starts with egg whites and salt. That’s it. The egg whites are whipped until stiff peaks form. This is pretty much like we’re making meringue, except instead of adding sugar, we’re adding salt.

A few tablespoons are added to the bottom of the casserole dish, the potatoes are added and arranged, and then the rest of the egg white situation goes on top. Smooth it out and then in the oven.

The salt crust actually acts as a moisture-sealer. Rather than roasting the potatoes, the potatoes steam in their own juices. Yum.

Salt Crusted Potatoes

This whole exercise got me thinking about other things. Like, imagine if you take something inherently tart, like, rhubarb and encase it in a sugar crust. The rhubarb might end up being less tart, more sweet and more delicious. (I have secret issues with rhubarb.)

I will experiment and get back to you!

While the potatoes are baking, make the dressing.

I kept it pretty simple: mayonnaise, whole grain Dijon mustard (nice added texture), minced shallot (for a little bite), fresh dill (duh) and a liberal amount of black pepper.

I’ve been waiting for the day when Amelia actually learns to beg for food, but so far she has no idea that there’s a big difference between what she eats and what I eat. I often times find her passed out, whimpering in her dreams, as her short little legs move like she’s running. Weirdo.

This is a position I often find her in: on her back, legs up, surrounded by all of the things she loves.

The black object to her left is a computer case. She has store-bought, approved dog toys but this is her favorite. I fail to understand this creature.

By her (non-existent) tail is her bankie aka baby blanket. That baby blanket was actually my baby blanket that I passed down to her. It now has four holes in it and smells like wet dog.

To the top right of her is an alligator toy that is now decapitated. And to her direct right is her dog bed that she hardly uses, but loves to bite on, bark at and drag through the apartment.

Pretty sure this is her “slightly annoyed” look.

When the salt crusted potatoes come out of the oven, the whole thing will look like toasted meringue. So pretty!

The next part is so fun. You take a knife and crack the shell.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, you cube up the potatoes and add ‘em to a bowl.

Toss with the dressing. And that’s it.

Potato salad has never made me SO EXCITED!

Salt Crusted Potatoes

Salt Crusted Potato Salad

Print this recipe!

3 egg whites
3/4 cups kosher salt
2.5 pounds small yellow potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Next, fold in the kosher salt.

3. In a 13 x 9 casserole dish (or one that’s similar in size–these things don’t have to be totally exact), spoon a few tablespoons of the egg white mixture to the bottom of the dish. Using the back of the spoon, create one even layer and arrange the potatoes atop. Add the rest of the egg white mixture to the top of the potatoes, smoothing it out evenly. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Note: If you’re using larger potatoes like, say, russets, increase the bake time to 1 hour. If the salt crust starts to get too brown, tent it with a piece of foil.

4. Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce. To a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, fresh dill and ground pepper. Set aside.

5. Remove the potatoes from the oven and using the back of a knife, crack the formed crust. Allow to cool for 5-7 minutes before handling. Remove the potatoes and dust off the salt, thoroughly. Cube up the potatoes and transfer them to a bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve warm, or alternatively, you could cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to cool, about 2-3 hours.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia January 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

Omg your corgi!

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rossinhawaii January 30, 2013 at 12:54 am

It looks as thought there is crumbled bread on top of the potatoes before the meringue is put on, but this is not in the recipe. Any explanation?
Thanks!

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Adrianna January 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

Crumbled bread? The third pictures is the first picture of the process.

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Amanda B. January 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

I think I see what rossinhawaii is getting at- that’s obviously the baked egg white mixture. But in your second-to-last pic of the potatoes with the sauce on top, it doesn’t look like the baked egg white mixture is in the bowl!

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Stacey January 30, 2013 at 8:09 am

What your referring to is the “salted meringue” that’s been baked. It totally looks like bread. And your right – the next picture just has the cubed potatoes. Does this mean you take the potatoes out of the salt crust, dust them off and chop?

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Adrianna January 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

Yep. You crack the crust open (this will look like the bread pieces), allow the whole thing to cool slightly and then remove the potatoes and dust them off, thoroughly. Then you just chop up the potatoes and add them to a bowl.

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foodnerd4life January 30, 2013 at 1:17 am

What a great idea! I’ve done it with fish but never thought to do a salt crust for potatoes! Must try!

http://www.foodnerd4life.com

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Margherita January 30, 2013 at 1:48 am

The idea of cooking the potatoes in a salt crust it’s so clever. Can’t wait to try it!

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Kelsey @aslolife January 30, 2013 at 3:45 am

I’m obsessed with potato salad–definitely going to have to try this variation!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 30, 2013 at 4:39 am

This is such an awesome idea! So unique, and the finished product looks unreal :)

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 30, 2013 at 6:01 am

Look at that crazy crust, bonkers!

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Kim V January 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

When our dog learned how to beg for food, at first, it was so cute. Now, he sits and STARES THROUGH YOUR SOUL for a treat. We call it his “Luke, use the force” face.

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Tasha Zee January 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

So adorable and I love her name …. love the potato salad and will definitely try it.

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Little Kitchie January 30, 2013 at 7:43 am

Such a genius idea! Potato salad is one of those things; when it’s bad, it’s bad; when it’s good, it’s GOOD. Got to try this out!!!

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joanna January 30, 2013 at 8:04 am

i don’t know what’s got me more excited… this recipe or amelia’s belly!

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Iris January 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

Yummm! I’d make this if I knew I wouldn’t sit down and eat the whole 13 x 9 dish haha.

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a farmer in the dell January 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

I love your take on potato salad. This looks awesome!

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Kate January 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

This is genius. I’ve had salt crusted prime rib, salt crusted fish, salt crusted chicken….. the list is endless. But this? GENIUS.

I grew up eating potato salad that my Mom made for every family picnic. It came to a point in my life where I couldn’t stand to look at one ever again, then many years later, something clicked in me and I began to re-think that. But, like you, once passed the dressing (in whatever form it took) the potatoes were just…. blah.

Again. This. GENIUS!

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Amanda W. January 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

Did you rinse your potatoes after you removed them from the pan, before you cubed them up? I think this method looks like a terrific idea. Can’t wait to try it. And were your potatoes all pretty uniform in size so that you didn’t have to cut any of them in half? I’d worry about the insides of the cut potatoes getting too salty.

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Adrianna January 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

I didn’t wash the potatoes, though I did dust all of the salt off very thoroughly. My potatoes were pretty uniform in size as they were small yellow potatoes. The insides don’t get too salty at all.

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Anita January 30, 2013 at 9:02 am

When most people make potatoes they fail to add enough salt. I’m no salt addict, but salt *really changes the flavor of food. In the case of the bland potato, it is a much-needed enhancer. Your recipe seems perfect to add the necessary amount of salt.
It is, in effect, a brine for potatoes.
Genius!

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Adrianna January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

EXACTLY. The interior isn’t salty at all, just flavorful. I love the brine comparison.

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Tina January 30, 2013 at 9:40 am

Ur such a Risk taker in ur cooking! Love it :) hello cutie pie almost screamed at my computer monitor when I saw Amelie!!!

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Leisa January 30, 2013 at 9:54 am

I absolutely have to try this–it looks amazing! Thank you!

PS: Your puppy is just too cute! I have a cat that carries his ‘baby blanket’ around the house… aren’t little creatures hilarious?!?! I hope you’re enjoying every moment with her!

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking January 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

What the what! Great technique! I cannot wait to try this!

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RLT January 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

This reminds me of the way I make homemade roasted pumpkin seeds. Lay them out in one layer on a jelly roll pan, add water til barely covering, mix in salt and roast them long and slow. The same type of crust appears on the pan. If you don’t roast them with the salt encasing them, the flavor doesn’t get all the way through. Brilliant for spuds! I might try it the German way – with bacon and vinegar, served warm.

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Megan | Eats Daily January 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

I agree with you about regular potato salad. YUCK. But this one actually sounds pretty great and I like that there’s fun involved (cracking the shell) ;)

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Adrianna January 30, 2013 at 10:56 am

It caters to the destructive part in all of us. :)

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LeAnnWoo January 30, 2013 at 11:22 am

I at first thought there was some kind of bread concoction on top too! Realized it was the meringue though. Great idea! Can’t wait to try it for other potato recipes too!

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Emily @ She Makes and Bakes January 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

What a great idea! Amelia…you steal my heart!

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Kait @ ChickadeeSays January 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm

You had me at ‘salt crusted.’ This looks so great!

xx Kait

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) January 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm

What a great idea! I’ve been wanted to do salt-baked fish for a long, long time (don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to it), but never thought to do it with potatoes.

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance January 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I have never seen meringue-salt-crusted potatoes before…ever! Thank you, I am now obsessed with the idea of this and I don’t even eat eggs nor ever have them in the house. Off to the store I go…. :P

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CJ January 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

What an interesting recipe and method :)

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Katie @ Blonde Ambition January 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I don’t know how you figured this all out, but thank you for it, and thank you for delivering me my next awesome party trick that I’m gonna impress all my friends with to make them think I’m a super foodie genius ;)

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Michelle January 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm

OMG! That dog. SO cute. My dog doesn’t like any of her store bought approved dog toys. In fact, she doesn’t like any toys. But occasionally she will pull an old baseball out of the hall closet.

I have an issue with potato salad too! And unfortunately coleslaw, in fact I’m posting tomorrow about my dislike for coleslaw. But I love this idea to “fix” potato salad! And it looks fun!

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Jayne January 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

What an intriguing method? I’ve had salt crusted baked potatoes and chicken etc but then this is very interesting. I know what you mean about bland insides of a potato. Totally deflated a potato salad eating experience. I have to try this method out to see if it makes me happy. Also your idea on a sweet meringue over tart fruits might just be a genius idea. Though I suppose of the fruits get juicy and wet then the meringue might melt in making it really sweet? Dunno. All the best in your experiments!

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Paige January 31, 2013 at 8:14 am

I did this with a roast chicken once. It was a bit messy and I feel like it was because my ratio of salt to egg whites was slightly off. Turned out so juicy and amazing though! When I cracked into the crust with the back of a knife, juices practically poured out! So good! I’d love to try it this way. Did you feel the need to weigh your salt at all? I wondered if that was why my salt crust for chicken was off.

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Steph January 31, 2013 at 8:19 am

“To the top right of her is an alligator toy that is now decapitated. And to her direct right is her dog bed that she hardly uses, but loves to bite on, bark at and drag through the apartment.”

It’s not just a corgi thing… our beagle pup does the same thing! He liberates squeakers from their stuffed critter cage, takes out his puppy wrath on tags and tassles, and sometimes actually plays with the toys we buy him, rather than rip apart the packaging. The joy of being a puppy mom. :)

(oh, and the recipe looks amazing! YUM!!)

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Michelle January 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

I cannot imagine life without this potato salad and a cute pup! Even if they manage to not listen and destroy things.

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Tasha@Tashasdish January 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Awesome recipe idea. I had been wanting to try salt crusted potatoes for a long time, but I never had any idea that a salt crust included eggs! Breaking open the crust does look fun!

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sk January 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Hey, one question! (At the cost of sounding silly) Do we add the crust to the salad or not? Awesome recipe, though…would surely give it a try.

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Adrianna January 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Nope! The salt crust is discarded. :)

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Kocinera February 1, 2013 at 12:59 am

This is seriously the coolest cooking method I’ve heard over in, like, forever. I can’t wait to give this a try! Plus it involves eating potatoes in the name of research, which is even better. :D

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Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up February 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

Such a good idea. I have had fish where this was done and it is sooo good. Seems like this would be amazing. Pinning now!

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Holley February 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Being someone who shamefully hates dill (I know),
I wonder if there is an alternative that would make the potato salad just as delicious. Parsley? I don’t know, this recipe sounds so good though!

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Adrianna February 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Oh Italian parsley would be awesome. Or tarragon!

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globalbite February 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

Do you have an idea how we could use the 3 croquet (yellow) in the same recipe?

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Jo February 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Looks delicious! Would the salt method method work with peeled potatoes?

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Adrianna February 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

I don’t think so. I imagine the outer later of the peeled potato would turn really rubbery. I’d peel the potatoes afterward.

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Angie Huckleby March 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

Thanks for sharing….can’t wait to try this out. Great idea!! Amelia is adorable!! Gotta luv dogs!!

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