A couple of years ago, my husband, Scott, asked me to make a potato salad. He’s not a man who asks very often for something so specific, 95% of his requests center around the one-syllable, “meat” so I took his request pretty seriously.
I’ve always considered potato salad one of those “filler sides” that come with your lunch order at a deli – it’s cheap, easy to make and generally all taste the same. The gloppy, mayo-heavy version that comes in a plastic tub is nothing to brag about, nothing to complain about, it’s just there next to your sandwich.
So I set out to make a version of potato salad that would be show-stopping memorable and that I actually could brag about. The first step was to do away with boiled potatoes, which have very little taste (except when mashed with loads of butter and drenched in gravy — but that’s an entirely different recipe), and instead roast them, which gave them a deeper, nuttier taste and a crisp-brown crust on the sides.
I definitely wanted to pair them with loads of warm chopped bacon, this was going to be a potato salad served warm with salty bacon that had just come from the skillet.
Instead of mayonnaise, I went lighter and made a tangy vinaigrette out of red wine vinegar, mustard and the bacon drippings. Toss it all together at the last minute, right before serving.
Bingo! It was all sorts of perfect, my husband had thirds of the warm potato salad and nearly forgot about the “meat” on his plate. So much for the salad being merely a side, it’s been one of my most requested dishes by my family and friends. You know you’ve got a winner when people rotate their dinner plates so that the warm potato salad stands closest, right in front.
Here’s what you will need for the salad:
Toss the potatoes with olive oil then spread them onto a baking sheet, making sure they are all in one layer. Then roast, in the oven, for about 25 minutes.
When done, the potatoes should be golden brown and a fork or knife will be able to pierce them easily.
Over medium heat, add bacon and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, add in the garlic and red onion.
Saute for another few minutes until the bacon is nice and crisp.
Now, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, and then add the bacon, onions and garlic, including all the drippings. Toss the vinaigrette with the roasted potatoes and a few green onions and serve warm.
Servings: serves 4-6
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. On a baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes or until tip of knife pierces potato easily.
2. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the garlic and the red onion. Saute for an additional 3 minutes until the bacon is crisp.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the bacon, garlic and onions, including all of the bacon drippings. Add in the roasted potatoes and the green onions. Toss gently and serve immediately.