Put an end to the mayonnaise vs. mustard debate and enjoy a tomato-based sauce on your next potato salad. Best served warm, bravas potato salad is a great side that complements any meal.
‘Tis the season for potato salad.
I dabble with a new potato salad recipe each summer, but this simple and flavorful dish seems fit to grace the table regardless of the season.
Best served warm and when the potatoes are still on the crisp side, this patatas bravas-inspired salad is more suited to a side dish you make just before dinner than a traditional cold potato salad you might make ahead and then take to a potluck.
Bravas Potato Salad Recipe Notes
I never gave much attention to the Spanish tapas before making my own, but now I see patatas bravas on menus everywhere. Every chef has her own unique take, but to make the bravas sauce, you definitely need tomatoes and paprika. After that, season as you please.
What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad? Choose a waxy potato like Yukon Golds or red potatoes. I used the latter in this recipe.
The aioli, for me, was a must. The creaminess of the mayo cut through the acidity of the tomato sauce just right.
What is aioli, anyway? Nowadays, aioli and mayonnaise are practically synonymous, but a true aioli is any sauce that mixes garlic into an emulsion. For our purposes here, the aioli is simply mayonnaise seasoned with garlic. If you prefer a thinner sauce, vigorously stir in some lemon juice. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1, 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- optional garnish, parsley
- Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- While the potatoes boil, make the bravas sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in the paprika and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, so the spice does not burn.
- Add the vinegar and cook until it has mostly evaporated, another 2 minutes or so.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and salt. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and carefully blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Next heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (preferably deep) skillet.
- Slice the boiled potatoes into quarters, add them to the warm oil, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
- Transfer the browned potatoes to a large bowl and pour the warm bravas sauce over them. Toss or stir gently to coat.
- Finally, make the aioli. Use a microplane to finely grate the garlic clove, then stir the garlic into the mayonnaise.
- Serve the potato salad warm with the aioli sauce over the top or on the side. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Amp up the flavor by adding chili powder, cayenne pepper, or a dash of hot sauce (or any combination of the three) to the bravas sauce near the end of its cooking time.
If you don't have an immersion blender, that's okay, you'll just have a thicker sauce. Or, if you have a potato masher, you can also user that to break up the tomatoes a bit.
Recipe adapted from Around the World in 120 Salads by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi.