Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tasty Side: Warm Potato Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

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If Mayonnaise addiction were recognized as a sickness, then my mother would be in Mayo Anonymous. She'll eat mayonnaise in staggering amounts (Hellmann's of course) on everything from the normal - chicken sandwiches, potato salad, deviled eggs - to the severely abnormal - green salad, steak. Steak? Yes, in fact she'll eat mayo with any kind of meat if sour cream isn't available.

My first job out of college was as a writer for an Internet company. PC was not understood. There was dirty joke telling, prank calling and all around bad behavior. I loved every single minute until the day, nine months later, when we were all laid off. My mother doesn't know this (until today, that is), but we created something called Operation Meat and Mayonnaise in honor of her love for, well, meat with mayonnaise. We created billboards and screensavers and chants all celebrating this operation, which stood for nothing and achieved nothing since it was all just about the name and being silly.

Funny, all this talk about mayonnaise and today's recipe doesn't even include it. However, to know where I ended up, you must understand where I began: potato salad in my family is all about the mayo. My mayo -hater of a husband groans whenever we go to a family picnic since he knows the only thing he'll eat is ham. Everything else, all the salads, are half vegetable, half mayo.

The other day, I received 3 pounds of some kind of small potato from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). My dear friend picked them up for me and I neglected to ask her what they were so I'm assuming they're either miniature russets or yukon golds. Anyhoo, rather than making mashed potatoes or latkes, I decided to make potato salad. However, rather than use mayonnaise (blasphemy, I know) I decided to so something more wintery with bacon, scallions, hard-boiled eggs and caramelized onions. Dressed in a cider vinegar dressing, the result was basically a meal in itself. While you could serve it alongside say, a Roast Chicken with Oregano and Lemon Zest, I've been eating the leftovers with a salad and I'm a very happy little piggy. Enjoy!

PS - Baby girl helped wash the potatoes, peel the eggs (she only mangled one!) and shake the vinaigrette. So, if you have any littl'ns under foot, they'll love helping.

Warm Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions and Cider Vinaigrette
(While this is an easy salad to prepare, there are a few steps. Happily, you can make this salad in stages or the night before. Just warm it up in the microwave before serving - should be warm not hot.)

What You'll Need:
3 pound Potatoes cut up into bite sized chunks (1-2 inches around)
4 medium Onions cut in half and then into thin slices
6 strips of Bacon
6 Eggs
6 scallions green and white parts cut into thin slices
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt

Place the eggs in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Set the sauce pan over a high heat, bring to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 30 minutes. Then run them under cold water, peel them and slice them into moderately thin pieces.

Place a steamer basket in a stock-pot and fill with cold water just until it reaches the steamer basket. Add the potatoes to the pot and then place over a high heat. Cover, bring to a boil and steam until the potatoes are soft. Test them with a sharp knife - it should go in and come out easily.

Set a frying pan over a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Once with begins to shimmer, add the onions. Turn down the heat and cook slowly and gently until the onions caramelize. They'll turn a nice golden color and give off a nutty sweet smell.

Set the bacon in baking dish and cook under a broiler until they are nice and crispy, but not cooked to death. Drain them over some paper towels and then cut them up into little pieces.

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar and salt in a sealable container. Shut it tightly and shake until the dressing is combined.

Throw everything into a large salad bowl and mix together. Serve as a side or eat with a salad. 

Approximate Dinner Cost:
Groceries: $10
Cost per Meal: 8-10 servings at least!

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  1. This looks great and I like the recipe - but what if I don't eat bacon? Would it work to use the fake bacon - or would that not hold up in the recipe? Any suggestions are welcome!

  2. Meredith - I think you could use turkey or tofu bacon as long as it tastes bacony. Please let me know if you try it out. I just polished off yet another serving for dinner this evening:)

  3. In my family growing up we had this recipe--surely from the 70s--called seven-layer salad. One of the layers was straight-up mayonnaise, and that basically formed the dressing. I have to confess, I really kind of love that salad to this day.

    Your potato salad sounds fantastic. I would not have thought to include caramelized onion, but it sounds great.

  4. Looks delicious. Don't think those spuds are Yukons, though. My husband is a potato man. Can't wait to try this new recipe on him. Thanks!

  5. This sounds great. I use Miracle Whip in cold potato salad, but recently have become a fan of warm potato salad too.

  6. If it has potato and caramelized onion, I'm there.

  7. We've really been enjoying potatoes this winter -- organic ones re cheap and delicious. This looks like a great recipe!

  8. Sarah - that seven layer salad would be right at home at a family get together!!

    Jennifer - I concur. We've been eating potatoes like crazy. There are so many things to do with them!!

    Thank you everyone for your, as always, wonderful comments!

  9. Wow, Peggy, I do think you've outdone yourself with this one. What a wonderful recipe and combination of ingredients. I don't even think the mayo will be missed.
    PS. I'll be over as soon as the snow stops - are there leftovers still??

  10. this sounds great as a main dish salad. thinking it might taste good with with a mustardy sort of dressing as well?

  11. Sheryl!! I've still got some leftovers!! My brother called from DC and said they're calling it a Snow-icane. Yikes.

    Kerry - If I'd thought of mustard, that would've definitely been in here. Next time I'll include a teaspoon or so. Thanks for the idea!

  12. Peggy, Thanks for the tip on tofu turkey. I'll keep that in mind!

  13. this is a fabulous lunch idea and i'm glad you have a little helper in the kitchen ;)

  14. Oh Peggy sounds fabulous! My husband is like yours, won't touch mayo with a ten foot pole. I've had one potato salad with a non-mayo dressing and it was really good, so I bet this was awesome too!

  15. Love this recipe and also your story about it. Although I typically make a vinaigrette-based potato salad, like you, I must admit I share your mom's mayonnaise addiction. One of my dirty little secrets is that I used to eat peanut butter and mayonnaise on toast sandwiches when I was a child.

  16. This sounds delicious. I think that you can definitely make up to all the mayo-lovers out there with this, especially since it has bacon. Bacon makes everything better!

  17. Looks delicious especially with the bacon. I love it.

  18. Even without the mayo it looks really good! This recipe is a keeper! I love it!If you won't mind, I'd really love to guide foodista readers to your site. Just add your choice of Foodista widget at the end of this blog post and you're all set. Thanks!

  19. Love potato salad, and to add caramelized onions, sounds so good!! Oh and Bacon, heaven!!

  20. Can't wait to try the chocolate chip cookies. There is just nothing better!



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