Salt Roasted Purple Potatoes with Saffron Mayonnaise

Over the past couple of years, Francois and I have traveled a lot! Brazil, Antarctica, Vietnam, Portugal, Ecuador, the Galapagos and most recently we spent a month in Iran. I love to discover the flavors of each country and then meld them at home in new ways that evoke delicious memories from our many destinations. Of the 4,000 or so varieties of potatoes, purple potatoes are one of my favorites! They contain four times as many antioxidants as Russet potatoes and are available nearly year-round. Natural pigments give purple potatoes their color. Here they are pared with a saffron sauce, inspired by the abundant saffron from Iran.

Salt Roasted Purple Potatoes with Saffron Mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 450˚

Wash the potatoes and dry on a kitchen towel. In a 12” deep oven dish, pour the rock salt to in a layer about ½” deep. Place the purple potatoes on top the salt in a single layer. Pour additional salt over the potatoes so that they are covered. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently remove the potatoes from the salt with tongs. Serve warm with a spoonful of saffron dipping sauce.

Make the saffron dipping sauce – Crumble the saffron threads in a small bowl. Add the hot water and let the saffron steep for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.

serves 6


  • 1.5 lbs purple potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 lb. rock salt


  • 10 saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • ¾ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste