The Weekend Gourmet: Tangy Bacon-Onion Fingerling Potato Salad...Featuring Frieda's Fingerling Potato Assortment F

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tangy Bacon-Onion Fingerling Potato Salad...Featuring Frieda's Fingerling Potato Assortment

One of my favorite side dishes to serve during warmer months is potato's such a classic! But, sometimes I want something different from the typical American favorite. I love serving my Bright and Sunny Potato Salad, which is a riff on my mother-in-law’s famous potato salad. But...I also like to shake things up a bit now and then. I’m always looking for new ways to serve this classic dish. My friends at Frieda’s Specialty Produce sent me a package of their assorted fingerling potatoes to try out in my kitchen, so I decided to make a potato salad without any mayo that can be served warm or at room temperature. This makes this potato salad ideal for potlucks and outdoor entertaining! What I came up with was Tangy Bacon-Onion Fingerling Potato Salad.

I tweaked a Jacques Pepin recipe, making a few simple changes. I subbed red wine vinegar for white wine in the tangy vinaigrette, used parsley instead of the recommended tarragon, and I added bacon to the mix. I thought that bacon would take this dish to the next level, and I was right! I loved how quickly this dish was to make...and that I could serve it immediately after tossing everything together. The fingerling potatoes worked perfectly...I boiled them in salted water until tender, then sliced them into bite-size chunks. I especially loved the visual contrast between the purple-pink Ruby Crescent and the Russian banana and French Fingerlings. This recipe makes enough for four servings, so double up if you’re serving a bigger crowd.

Tangy Bacon-Onion Fingerling Potato Salad
adapted from Jacques Pepin via Epicurious

Step 1:  Make the vinaigrette dressing. Add the following ingredients to a measuring cup: 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 tbs. dijon mustard, 1 tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Whisk well to combine and set aside.

Step 2:  Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add a 1.5-pound package of Frieda’s assorted fingerling potatoes. Cover, lower heat to med-low, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork...about 20 minutes. While the potatoes boil, dice two thick slices of applewood bacon and brown in a large skillet. Remove bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel, but don’t discard the bacon fat in the pan.

Step 3:  Turn the heat to medium and add 1/2 cup diced yellow onion, 3 minced or grated garlic cloves, and 2 sliced green onions. Cook until browned and soft...about 5 minutes, stirring every so often so they cook evenly.

Step 4:  Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and place in a large mixing bowl. When they're cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size chunks. Top with the cooked onion mixture, bacon, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine, and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes so the warm potatoes can soak up the dressing.

I served this potato salad for our Memorial Day dinner, along with grilled marinated chicken breasts and fresh corn on the cob. This potato salad was really good: tangy, smoky, and full of flavor. The potatoes cooked up perfectly: creamy and earthy! Feel free to have fun with the recipe...sub in lemon juice for vinegar, use different herbs, etc. This was a change of pace from my usual creamy potato salad, but I will definitely be making it again.

For my Texas readers, you can find Frieda’s assorted fingerlings in the Produce section at your local HEB. These potatoes can also be tossed in olive oil, seasoned with coarse salt and herbs, and roasted for a simple side dish.

Disclosure: As one of their blog partners, Frieda's Specialty Produce sent me a  free package of their assorted fingerling potatoes to facilitate this post. The opinions stated are my own. 

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