The Only Potato Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need

by Hilary Gauntt on September 1, 2015

That is the way the Los Angeles Times describes this recipe. And just in time for Labor Day, the last official potato salad event of the year! This is a salad I never make or even eat, for that matter.  Just always seems heavy and mayonnaisey and there’s usually something else I’d rather have a second helping of. Well, that’s over. On the eve of returning to her 2nd grade classroom, stellar teacher Diana Brown entertained her extended family royally at a beach picnic. When I heard everyone discussing how amazing this was, I broke down and tried it. And then tried it again!

The Times discussed the value of an excellent potato salad…”It’s not a side to be left to that friend who visits the grocery store deli on his or her way to the party. Give the job to someone who cares and understands the importance of the task at hand”

The combination of small tender potatoes with thick chunks of bacon, whole grain mustard, capers, and a bit of garlic added to the other classic ingredients is irresistible. Bring this to the pot luck once, and it will be your signature dish.

4 pounds new or fingerling potatoes, cleaned and halved lengthwise

3/4 tsp. chopped garlic

3 Tbs. olive oil


Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound thick-cut bacon

1 cup mayonnaise

3 Tbs. whole grain mustard, or to taste

1 Tbs. red wine vinegar, or to taste

1/2 red onion, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices

1/4 cup capers

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the garlic, olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the potatoes until golden brown and tender, about 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Remove and cool.

While the potatoes are roasting, cut the bacon crosswise into one-fourth-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently, watching that the bacon does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and red wine vinegar. Season with one-half tsp. salt and several grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust mustard, vinegar and seasoning, if desired.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and bacon with the sliced onion. Gently stir in enough dressing to coat, then stir in the capers. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least two hours to allow the flavors to develop. The salad will keep for 3 days, refrigerated. Allow the salad to warm slightly at room temperature before serving. Serves 10.

Note: Diana used half black and half white fingerling potatoes, and wished she’d only used white.  Something about black things in the salad not so appetizing I suppose. Thanks to the Times for this great photo… the way my jeans fit at the moment does not allow me to create my own photo op!


pot salad

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