Potato salad is that classic side, you find it at pretty much every summer BBQ.
I have to say though, it’s often a sloppy creamy mess with mystery bits that really does not appeal to me at all.
Over the years I’ve developed this alternative, which in my
humble opinion is a fresher and more delicious option that I actually love to eat.
Preparing the potatoes
I think the main thing that sets this potato salad apart, is that I roast the potatoes instead of boiling them. Roasted vegies just have so much more flavor! So its a no brainer really.
I like to use baby red royale spuds, I like the way the red skins give the salad more contrast.
They also roast with just the right amount of crispiness for this dish.
Wash your potatoes before you use them! you never know what nasties have ended up being sprayed all over them.
After you wash them, chop the potatoes into small bite sized chunks and toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil before spreading on a baking tray (hopefully yours is cleaner than mine).
This is probably controversial, but I don’t salt the potatoes before putting them in the oven.
I never do this when I’m after some crisp on my sweet potato or regular potato and I always get better results.
So then when the potatoes are cooked and a little golden, generally about 30 minutes at 375°F, I’ll take them out of the oven and give them a liberal salting.
Frying the bacon
While the potatoes are cooking is when you want to prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.
I say this because you want to add the potatoes to everything when they are still hot.
This will release extra flavor and help it bind to the potato. More flavor cant be a bad thing right?
Slice the bacon and fry it until realllllly crispy. We don’t want soggy bacon in this salad.
(I’ll be real, this was probably a smidge too crispy but I had someone crying at my leg and got a little distracted)
So! After you have cooked that bacon, you want to remove it with a slotted spoon and leave to drain. Don’t discard that glorious bacon fat though!!
Assembling the potato salad
Put it back on the stove, at a lower heat and add the fresh breadcrumbs. You want to use fresh breadcrumbs so they soak up that bacon flavor and get crispy without burning.
Keep an eye on the crumbs while they fry up, but move on to your herbs.
I have used parsley, chives and mint – and quite a bit of each. I think of them as more an ingredient to the salad not the dressing.
So you want to use enough that the flavors are fairly prominent.
Finely chop the herbs together. This comes down to personal preference but I like them small enough that they soften and stick to the potatoes.
You can go ahead and add the lemon zest to the herbs. The subtle fragrance really lifts everything.
Once that is done, add the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, bacon, remaining olive oil and pepper to a large bowl.
When the potatoes are cooked, throw them on top off all this stuff and toss through.
This next part is optional, but for a little bit of creaminess, add some greek or natural yogurt.
I use about half a cup, but feel free to use your judgement here and omit or add more.
You could use mayo in a pinch, but I think yogurt gives you that creamy indulgence while maintaining the fresh factor you’re going for.
After you’ve mixed the yogurt through, transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs along with any herbs you have left over.
- 2 lb potatoes new if you can get them
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5 bacon rashers
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- ½ bunch chives
- ½ bunch parsley
- ½ bunch mint
- 1 lemon zest of whole, and juice of half
- ½ cup yogurt natural or greek
- black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 190c.
- Wash and dry the potatoes, then chop into small bite size cubes. Toss with about 1 tbsp of oil then spread out on an oven tray. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and slightly golden on the outside. When they are done, sprinkle liberally with salt.
- While the potatoes are cooking, slice the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a paper towel.
- To the pan that you just cooked the bacon in (there should be a nice amount of bacon fat in there) add the fresh breadcrumbs and stir through. Keep the pan at a low heat until the crumbs have gone nice and crispy. Transfer to a bowl.
- Gather all the herbs in a bunch and finely chop.
- To a large bowl, add the bacon, herbs, lemon zest and juice and remaining olive oil. Add the potatoes to the bowl and toss everything together, seasoning with pepper. Once its mixed a bit, add the yogurt and toss through.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top.