Warm BLT Potato Salad
Do you recognize these babies? They’re potatoes. They haven’t been on the scene much lately, having taken a beating from low-carb advocates, some of whom put potatoes on par with sugar. Indeed, they’ve acquired an unfortunate reputation, not helped by the fact that most potatoes in this country get served up as chips or french fries.
To be honest, I’d sort of forgotten about potatoes myself, so when a pound of Yukon Golds showed up in my CSA box recently, I peered in and thought, “hey there, stranger.” I piled them straight away into a saucepan to cook. Once drained, I made a warm salad with shallots, Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil. It was perfection that I ate standing up — fork to pot to mouth, repeat (don’t tell my kids) — thinking all the while, “why have potatoes become the bad boy of the farmers’ market?”
They’re not “fattening” as they’re purported to be. In fact, they have very little fat at all. What they are is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and if you keep the skin intact (and you should), fiber. Are they as superfoody as kale? No. As low-cal as lettuce? Nope.
But prepared well and eaten in moderation, potatoes are warm and wonderful; they will fill you up and sustain you in a way that a leafy green just can’t. Indeed, potatoes have nourished entire populations the world over for centuries.
Two weeks after the “potato salad in a pot” incident, another bag of spuds showed up in my CSA, a pound of fingerlings. This time I added just-ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and crumbled bacon to my original mix. And this time, I managed to get the salad into a bowl and myself into a chair before digging in.
I know, civilized.
One bite and I promise, you’ll find yourself not just saying, “hey there, stranger,” but, “I missed you, old friend.”
Looking for more salad inspiration? You might like this Best Balsamic Vinaigrette or these Croutons on the Grill.Turn all your favorite flavors of a BLT into a wholesome summer salad. #potatoes #bacon #blt Click To Tweet
Warm BLT Potato Salad
- 1 pound small waxy potatoes such as red skinned, yellow finn, or fingerlings
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon (or 3 slices regular bacon)
- 2 tablespoons diced shallot
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon water
- 3/4 cup halved ripe cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- Black pepper
- 8 to 10 crispy Romaine lettuce leaves
Cut the potatoes as needed so they are in 2-bite pieces. Tiny potatoes won't need to be cut at all, larger ones can be quartered. The key is that the pieces are all uniform in size so they cook evenly.
Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover by 2 inches with water. Salt the water generously enough so that it tastes like the sea. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, neither crunchy nor mushy. Don't be shy about spearing one out of the cooking water to slice into it and taste for doneness. Drain immediately.
While the potatoes are boiling, cook the bacon using your favorite method until crispy.
Make the dressing by whisking together the shallots, mustard, vinegar, oil, and water, until blended.
Once the potatoes are cooked, combine them in a medium bowl with the cherry tomatoes and basil. Crumble the bacon into the salad. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
To serve, set out 4 to 5 salad plates. Lay 2 leaves of lettuce on each plate and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of the dressing. Divide the potato salad amongst the plates. Drizzle on a little more dressing if needed.