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Potato Salad with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing

I grew up loving my mother’s potato salad.  It was a simple mixture of boiled and peeled russet potatoes she cut into cubes then added chopped onion, celery, hard boiled eggs, and pickles.  The dressing wasn’t fancy — a generous dollop of mayonnaise mixed with enough juice from the pickle jar to make it tangy and tasty.  I’m thinking garlic salt was involved.  Me?

I don’t have a go to potato salad recipe because I’m more of a green salad lover.  But when the hubster’s sister invited us to spend a day at the beach with her this summer while they were camping there, I thought potato salad was in order.

I knew they wouldn’t have refrigeration, so needed to make something that wouldn’t spoil.  And then there was the consideration of continuing to make dishes that I could cut out as many bad calories as possible.  Is that possible when the main ingredient is potato?  Something easy, fresh, and with a bit of a tang.  Not quite German potato salad, but trying hard to get there.

If you need a salad for a weekend get together, then give Potato Salad with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing a try.  Putting your own spin on it is always a good thing.

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Potato Salad with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing

Serves 8

Dressing Ingredients

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 T white vinegar

1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients

2 lbs. small red-skinned potatoes, boiled and cut into eighths

1/4 orange bell pepper, diced

2 slices bacon, fried and chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes

fresh thyme for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare the salad dressing by combining all ingredients in a lidded jar and shaking vigorously.  Taste before adding seasoning, then set aside.
  2. Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Lightly toss to combine.
  3. If transporting this potato salad for a picnic or otherwise, then do not add the dressing until just before serving.  Otherwise, add as much of  the dressing as desired and toss to coat the potatoes.
  4. Taste and then season before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • I love little potatoes boiled just enough so that they have a bit of bite.  I buy them in mesh bags at the market.  Sometimes they’re fingerlings, sometimes, Yukons, and other times a colorful mix of blue, red, and white.  They’re handy to have around for all kinds of things.
  • Yes, I leave the peelings on.  I can hear my mother’s voice about the vitamins in them every time I get ready to cook them.  My brain thinks, “Oh, they’re so colorful!”  But I also like the way they cook when the peelings are left on.  If you’re not a “peelings on” person, then boil them until they’re fork tender with the peelings on, let them cool by draining the hot water, then letting them sit in cold water before tearing the peelings off.  It’s pretty easy.
  • I love sun dried tomatoes and buy the ones already julienned in bags.  They haven’t been packed in oil, but you could use those as long as you drained the oil.  I love the flavor of those as well.
  • This was a good potato salad but I’m thinking that adding rings of peperoncini would be quite nice.  The sun dried tomatoes added a bit of zip, but I think I might like something more — which doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  I guess it depends on if you like a sassy potato salad or one that’s more on the calm side.  Sassy is good.  Perhaps my mother’s pickle juice has me programmed.
  • The bacon is great if you’re a pork lover, but leaving it out would work as well, of course.  I’d miss it.

 

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