Ranchy Potato Salad with Sizzled Scallions and Lotsa Seeds


This potato salad is ALL about texture. The crunchy, sizzling seedy oil that gets drizzled over ranch-smothered potatoes is brimming with crackly textural delight. If you’ve ever made or eaten chonk, an Indian condiment of spices cooked in fat to “bloom” their flavor, this concept will be familiar to you. I’ve added scallions and sesame seeds for nuttiness and sweet allium flavor. The whole thing is entirely addictive, and I would not be surprised to find you eating it by the spoonful. I’ve called for a mix of spices in the recipe list--use what you have, but, generally, the more the merrier. The magic really happens when you’ve got lots of little seedy sprinkles mingling together with the creamy, garlicky potato salad.

Active Time: 25 Mins

Total Time: 40 mins



  • 2 ½ pounds baby yukon gold potatoes


  • 1 garlic clove


  • 1 lemon


  • 1 bunch scallions (about 6)


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise


  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds, mustard seeds and/or fennel seeds (any combo)


  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • ⅓ cup olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon aleppo pepper or gochugaru or ¾ teaspoon Italian red pepper flakes


  • ¾ cup whole milk greek yogurt or sour cream

1. Boil the potatoes:

  • Serve: pounds baby yukon gold potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 cup kosher salt, and 3 quarts of water.
  • Bring the water to a simmer over medium high heat. Once it simmers, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tines of a fork, 8-10 minutes from when it comes to a simmer (this will vary greatly depending on the size of your potatoes.)
  • Drain the potatoes through a colander and let cool to room temperature.

2. Make the ranchy yogurt dressing:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cup whole milk greek yogurt, ¼ cup mayonnaise, the zest of half of a lemon, and the juice of one lemon.
  • Finely grate one garlic clove into the dressing. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.
  • Add the cooled potatoes to the dressing, breaking them in half and lightly crushing them with your hands so as to expose some of their inside flesh to the dressing.
  • Stir well to coat and adjust seasoning as needed

3. Sizzle the scallions and seeds:

  • Thinly slice 1 bunch of scallions. Set half of the sliced scallions (the darker green parts) aside for garnish.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and ⅓ cup olive oil in a small saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring and swirling often until the sesame seeds turn golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the sliced scallions (white and light green parts) 3 tablespoons of mixed seeds (any combination of fennel, cumin, and mustard seeds), and continue to cook until the oil is very fragrant, the scallions are beginning to turn light golden, and all of the seeds are lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes longer.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon aleppo pepper, and season with ¾ teaspoon salt.

4. Serve:

  • Transfer the potato salad to a large rimmed plate or shallow bowl.
  • Spoon the sizzled scallions seeds, and the oil over the potatoes.
  • Garnish with the reserved sliced scallions.

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