I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people that cringes every time I see a cold potato salad drowning in mayo. I get dry heaves just thinking about the smell and the texture and biting down on to one of those barely cooked crunchy onions. Just nasty. I’ve hated potato salad ever since I was a kid. I used to be a picky eater, and I ended up getting rid of most of my food qualms as an adult, but it just never happened with potato salad. That is until a few years ago when I came across a recipe for roasted potato salad, sans mayo. And then everything changed. No longer was I a hater of potato salad, but a true advocate for it. More specifically, this potato salad.
I still hate the cold mayo-based potato salad, so don’t think I’ve completely changed. But the roasted potato salad is something I can really get behind – it is truly delicious. I pull it out for most potlucks and every single time I get excited responses “What is this? It’s so good! Can I have the recipe?”. How can you possibly go wrong with roasted potatoes, bacon, and capers?
This recipe is from Michael Smith, a Canadian chef who has authored various cookbooks and who has had a few cooking programs on television (I first discovered him through watching his old show Chef At Home back when we still had cable in our house). All of his recipes are always very simple and he also encourages home cooks to put their own spin on the recipes, often times leaving measurements open to interpretation (in a good way!). The thing I love most about this potato salad recipe is that it is a very simple recipe and requires very few ingredients. I’ve included the recipe below written in my own words, but it is almost identical to the original recipe, so don’t give me any credit here, except credit for introducing this wonderful recipe in to your life (you’re welcome).
Roasted Potato & Bacon Salad (original recipe via Chef Michael Smith)
– 1 bag of new potatoes, washed and sliced in half
– 6-8 slices of bacon, cut in to bits
– Black pepper
– Italian parsley (it is fine to use curly parsley as well – whatever is available to you) – washed, dried, and stems removed
– Capers (a few heaping tablespoons – I love these salty little gems so I usually dump a lot in)
– Heaping tablespoon of grainy mustard, but dijon also works.
– A splash of red wine vinegar
– Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
– Fry the bacon until it is barely cooked.
– Throw the potatoes in a roasting pan and toss with the bacon bits, some of the bacon grease, and pepper (the original Michael Smith recipe calls for salt as well, but I find there is enough between the bacon and capers, so I omit this – but I love cracked black pepper, so I add lots of that). Roast the potatoes and bacon for about 25-30 minutes, tossing half way through.
– In the meantime, throw your prepared parsley and capers in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar, tasting it to ensure you like the ratio. I like more mustard than vinegar, but it is up to you. The dressing will be really tart but the flavors will be balanced once everything else is added in.
– When your potatoes are ready, allow them to cool a bit (I like them still warm on my salad so I don’t wait very long. Plus I have no patience and this salad is delicious so I don’t want to wait for it). When the potatoes are cooled enough for you, throw them in the salad bowl with the parsley and capers, add the dressing, and toss until everything is evenly coated. Enjoy!
What I’m Cooking is a new series where I will feature recipes that are not my original recipes, but that are my experiments with other people’s recipes.