Paul and I feasted on potatoes while we were in Madrid and had them at nearly every meal, in every conceivable way. There were the beloved potato chips. We also discovered patatas bravas, which are chunks of potato, turned golden brown and served with a sauce for dunking. It’s typically deep fried, but in recreating this dish, I found a bath of olive oil and a turn in a hot oven made for a crispy potato without the fuss of frying. The sauce, a cheater version of a true Spanish alioli, is dreamy and with the bite of garlic and the unmistakable tang of saffron. Make this sauce for potato dipping, drizzling on roasted veggies, dipping breadsticks and anywhere you want a creamy accompaniment.
Patatas Bravas with Saffron Alioli
1 pound small yellow potatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch saffron
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt. Spread the potatoes out on the baking sheet, giving each piece a bit of room. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. They’re ready when the potatoes are fork-tender and crispy-brown on the bottom.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: crumble the saffron into a small bowl with 2 tablespoons hot water and set aside. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slide the minced garlic onto a small plate, sprinkle the salt over and mash with a fork. Combine the saffron water, garlic and mayonnaise in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Serve the potatoes hot with the alioli on the side.