Whether you want to admit it or not, some foods just taste better as leftovers than they do fresh. In fact, there's an actual science behind why stew tastes better over time and why cold pizza still tastes so delicious. When it comes to potato salad, however, the leftovers aren't quite as appealing. If you have extra potato salad from that picnic or potluck, chances are it may just sit in the fridge until you inevitably toss it out.
The good news is, there's an easy way to make leftover potato salad more appetizing: All you have to do is spread it out on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven. After about 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, the potato salad will take on a new life as roasted potatoes. For optimal browning, you can also rotate the pan midway through baking. As far as taste, the result isn't just warmed-up potato salad, and there's a good reason it takes on a completely new and improved flavor.
Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid
What Happens When You Roast Leftover Potato Salad
Though you might assume you'd have to rinse off potato salad if you want to turn it into roasted potatoes, the mayonnaise is actually a key ingredient. In a classic potato salad, mayonnaise is the main component in the dressing, adding flavor as well as moisture. Introduce heat, and mayonnaise does something else — it facilitates the browning and crisping of the potatoes.
This happens primarily because mayonnaise is technically just egg, oil, and vinegar, and the combination of its proteins and sugars with the heat of the oven leads to the Maillard reaction, developing the deeper, complex flavors that come out of cooking. Mayonnaise is also high in fat and has a high smoke point of roughly 450 degrees. Both of these characteristics allow food to get hotter and therefore crispier.
By baking a leftover potato salad in the oven, as long as it's mayonnaise-based, it'll have no problem roasting. The effects would be similar to coating your potatoes in butter or oil before putting them in the oven.
What You Should Know Before Roasting Leftover Potato Salad
Turning leftover potato salad into roasted potatoes doesn't require any complex culinary techniques, but that doesn't mean the process is entirely foolproof. Too much moisture in your potato salad could easily cause the roasted potatoes to turn out soggy rather than crispy. This can be due to heavier globs of mayo, or the addition of an ingredient that has a high water content, like chopped-up celery or pickles. It can also happen if you don't space out the potatoes properly, which would create trapped steam.
Before putting your potato salad in the oven, consider other mix-ins that might easily burn or char at 425 degrees -- for example, bacon bits that are already cooked, or dried herbs. It's important to note that this roasting hack works best on potato salads dressed with mayo. This sour cream and dill potato salad, for example, or this Greek yogurt potato salad are delicious when enjoyed cold, but if you put them in the oven, the potatoes won't roast as well without the mayonnaise.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.