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the one

June 13 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,Salad » 21 comments

potatosalad

Potato salad is not a one-size-fits-all affair.   There are a lot of options out there.  Finding the right one is not unlike buying a new dress or a pair of jeans or (brace yourself) a bathing suit, in that you can’t just expect to breezily pluck the first one you see off the rack and expect it to fit like a glove.  You’ll need to try on various options for size and you’ll probably have to sift through dozens before finding one that suits you perfectly.

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I suppose this is all on my mind because, with wedding season upon us, I’ve been on the hunt for a new dress.  I just got back from a shopping trip, in fact.  It’s a rainy, cold morning here in Chicago (more April than June, as has been the trend for the past two weeks running) and I figured shopping was as good a way to while away the gray day as any.  Sadly, I struck out in the dressing room: too short, too long, too casual, too formal, too clingy, too boring, too loud.  You name it, I tried it on this morning.  I will search the depths of my closet instead, I’ve decided.  I will find a dress already hanging in there that will work just fine.  I can’t take any more hangers, any more dressing rooms (even with the lure of their flattering light and deceptively-tilted mirrors), any more rainy shopping trips.

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Though I seem to have failed in the dress department, I’m happy to report that I’ve had much better luck in the potato salad department lately.  I have finally found The One.  While others are too creamy, too mushy, too eggy, too bland, this was is none of those things.  It’s punchy and clean—and pretty, to boot.  It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

It employs tiny red potatoes, sliced thickly and boiled in salted water until they are just soft—the potato equivalent of pasta’s al dente.  The still-warm rounds go into a vinaigrette of sorts—heavy on the vinegar (sherry) and mustard (whole grain), bound up with your very best olive oil.

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The kicker though is this: the salad is also flecked with tiny bits of bacon and bright green snipped chives.  They’re the final touch that sends this salad over the top—kind of like the effect the perfect bag or a smart pair of heels would would have on a  great dress.  Had I found a great dress, that is.

Potato Salad with Sherry Vinegar, Chives & Bacon

Printable Recipe

Serves 4-6

2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 slices thick-cut bacon, minced
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup snipped chives

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water generously, add the potato rounds and cook until the potatoes are just tender.

Meanwhile, add the minced bacon to a dry skillet over medium heat; cook until the bacon is browned.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain.  In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil and bacon.

Drain the potatoes and add to the vinaigrette, along with almost all of the snipped chives.  Toss until the potatoes are well coated and have soaked up all the vinaigrette.  Transfer to a platter and scatter the remaining snipped chives on top.  Serve warm, at room temperature or cold (allow the salad to cool to room temperature before refrigerating it).

21 comments so far. »
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  1. Half Assed Kitchen says on June 13 2009 at 11:38 am:

    Mm, just stopping by…potato salad shopping.

  2. Whitney Merritt says on June 13 2009 at 11:42 am:

    This cold rain is getting truly ridiculous. There are like 5 awesome festivals (including two art fairs right out my door) today and I just feel so sorry for all the vendors.

    I had the same experience suit shopping a few weeks back. Tried on a bunch at many different places and totally struck out. An unsuccessful shopping trip is the worst.

    Glad you found a keeper potato salad though. I have some chives growing on my balcony so I will have to try this version out for the next BBQ or potluck

    Here’s hoping for a Sunny Sunday tomorrow!

  3. Amanda B says on June 13 2009 at 12:12 pm:

    the hunt for a simple yet stunning dress is like finding a needle in the haystack. I arm myself with a fully potent starbucks coffee and comfy flats. Hope you find what you are looking for!

  4. Jennifer says on June 13 2009 at 2:13 pm:

    I hope you find that dress!!!! YUMMY potato salad!!!! Im loving the thick bacon in it! :)

  5. Amanda says on June 13 2009 at 2:40 pm:

    I’m really excited about this. I’ve been ‘shopping’ for a potato salad for years, and for a while now, they’ve been some variation of “too creamy, too mushy, too eggy, too bland.” I’ve never really considered oil and vinegar before.

  6. Z says on June 13 2009 at 3:49 pm:

    This is perfect! I can’t handle the mayo-heavy potato salads! I will have to try this. Our farmer’s market in Newport (OR) is just starting to get in new potatoes. Now I’m kicking myself for not buying any…

  7. Chocolate and Toast says on June 13 2009 at 5:07 pm:

    Potato salad will ALWAYS make up for a bad clothes shopping trip. In my case, potato salad is usually the CAUSE of the bad shopping trip (exhibit A: my thighs), but it still makes everything feel better afterward. And potato salad with BACON must be the best shopping-trip-fixer of all! This is on the list for tomorrow, yay!

  8. Erica from Cooking for Seven says on June 13 2009 at 6:33 pm:

    I’ve always wanted to try a more “rustic” potato salad. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  9. Monica h says on June 13 2009 at 8:26 pm:

    this is beautiful, and I have never said a potato salad was beautiful. YUM!

  10. Polly Rice says on June 13 2009 at 10:52 pm:

    I detest mayo but love potatoes, and for that I thank you for this recipe. Yum! As for the dress, I feel your pain. Generally when we strike out on a dress mission it doesn’t happen…have you considered re-inventing a dress in the closet with a belt? It did wonders for me recently with a very simple dress.

  11. LoveFeast Table says on June 13 2009 at 11:41 pm:

    This looks wonderful. And, with the bacon kicker for sure. It says simple, summer, & satisfying!

  12. maris Callahan says on June 14 2009 at 6:27 am:

    Yum. This reminds me of potato skins!

  13. laura says on June 14 2009 at 10:14 am:

    yum! this looks like exactly the kind of potato salad i love. none of that gloopy mayo stuff. and bacon! i’m sold.

  14. cb says on June 14 2009 at 11:21 am:

    I love this style of potato salad – and add one more ingredient, perhaps in place of some of the oil and/or vinaigrette – canned and sliced artichoke hearts! oh yeah, DEE-LISH-US!

  15. oneshotbeyond says on June 14 2009 at 6:47 pm:

    looks delightful!

  16. Cookin' Canuck says on June 14 2009 at 8:42 pm:

    I like the flecks of bacon and chives. This sounds delicious!

  17. Tina says on June 15 2009 at 9:17 am:

    Those taters look like what I had at a wedding dinner I attended this weekend. Very pretty photos!

  18. Lisa (dinner party) says on June 15 2009 at 10:53 am:

    Bacon can make anything taste better. And that grainy mustard looks so good!

  19. Marianne says on June 15 2009 at 4:44 pm:

    I have been looking for a simple, tasty, non-egg/mayo style potato salad recipe, and this sounds like it could be the perfect one. Yum!

  20. Michelle says on June 17 2009 at 9:11 pm:

    Potatoes are my all time favorite food – any way (mashed, au gratin, potato salad, french fries…) This recipe looks great, I’ll try it this weekend, thanks!!

  21. ingrid says on June 19 2009 at 1:20 pm:

    I guess was one of those that thought there was only one kind of potatoe salad. How wrong I was! (thank you for opening me eyes!) All these years I would make it……..now I can make it.
    ~ingrid

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