It’s too hot to turn on the oven and make my lemon pepper oven fries, which is a shame because they’d go so well with the burgers we’re going to be grilling in the backyard . . . but that doesn’t mean we can’t have potatoes flavored with lemon and pepper. This occurred to me as I was thinking about potato salads made with vinaigrette instead of creamy mayonnaise-based dressings. Why not make one with a lemon pepper vinaigrette?
You may be able to find lemon pepper easily in the store — if so, you’re way ahead of me. (They do have it in or two places around here, but at a price I’m almost embarrassed to mention. If you’re considering moving to Canada, contact me for details, you need to know what you’re getting into.) Not to worry, I did find fresh lemons at a very reasonable price (considering they don’t grow anywhere near here) and I had pepper at home, like most people. Not that I was planning to make a big batch of lemon pepper to keep on hand — you can do that, but it involves drying out the mixture in the oven, and, well, see above.
If you’re using the lemon pepper right away, you can just toss it together out of lemon zest, pepper, and salt — I give directions below.
With vinaigrette potato salads, unlike the creamy ones, it’s best to add the dressing while the potatoes are still hot, and serve them warm or at room temperature. I know, it’s supposed to be all cold food this month, but this is close enough, and anyway I couldn’t fit it in during salad month.
- 1 ½ pound nugget potatoes
- 1 ¼ teaspoons lemon pepper*
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
- Wash the potatoes and cut each into four wedges, except the very smallest, which can be cut in half. Boil them in salted water about seven minutes, till just soft.
- Meanwhile, combine the oil and vinegar. If you’re making your own lemon pepper, mix it up now in a separate bowl. The dressing won’t actually exist till it’s on the potatoes.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them well. Pour the oil and vinegar over them and toss gently till they’re coated.
- Sprinkle on the lemon pepper and toss gently again.
- Add more salt if you want.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- *I used half a teaspoon each of fresh-ground black pepper and lemon zest, plus a quarter teaspoon of salt.