There’s still a few weeks left of summer. A few more precious opportunities to relax with friends, soak up the sun, splash in the water and have a picnic at the beach, park or even in your own backyard. And what is more picnic-y than potato salad?
Tender potatoes and crispy veg in a piquant dressing. If you like it Southern-style, which I do, then it’s got to have some chopped hard-boiled eggs mixed in as well.
Which got me thinking… eggs. What goes with eggs??? Well, duh — bacon. Ooooh, yes! Bacon and eggs — in potato salad. It makes perfect sense. So much so that I’m surprised it’s not the accepted method for making this popular side dish.
I know some people buy their cole-slaws, macaroni salads and the like at the grocery store. Trust me, once you tasted a real potato salad made from scratch, you will snub your nose at those deli-department wannabes. They just can’t compete. And there’s nothing easier or more economical than potato salad at your next pot-luck if you’re feeding a crowd.
A good potato salad should have big chunks of identifiable potato, and plenty of crunchy celery and onion. But the real secret, is sprinkling the still hot potatoes with a little vinegar. It adds tang and dimension to the salad. Don’t leave it out — without it, it’s very one-note.
And in my not-so-humble opinion, a good potato salad should have eggs. And bacon. It can be served cold, but I have to be honest, I found myself powerless to resist the siren-call of this still warm melange. If you want to elevate your picnic spread and earn high marks from family and friends, make this for your next cookout.
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 5-6 slices crisped bacon, chopped or crumbled
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- I like to cook bacon in the oven because there's no splatter and it yields a perfect strip of crispy pork. To do it in the oven, preheat to 400 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on top of the cookie sheet. Lay the bacon on the wire rack and cook for about 20-23 minutes until crisped.
- Cut the potatoes into 1" pieces (no need to peel them). Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully add the eggs and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon remove the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle the hot potatoes with vinegar and toss to coat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes. Then remove them from the water and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.
- Add the celery, onion, scallions and bacon to the potatoes. Peel and chop the eggs and add them to the potatoes. Toss gently. Add the dressing to the potatoes and toss to combine. Sprinkle with a little extra paprika and the parsley. Serve.