Potatoes are an essential staple in my diet. I really like making oven fries, but it’s really tough to bring myself to boil up a pot of water and keep the oven on 450°F for 20-25 minutes in the middle of summer.
So I make my rendition of a simple German potato salad. It’s something I’m able to make ahead, and something that you can eat warm or cold. It’s also something that doesn’t cost a whole lot to make.
I start by boiling some potatoes until they’re fork-tender.
For three large potatoes (I use Russet because they have a high starch content, and I like the German potato salad to be pretty dense), I dice up about 8 oz of bacon into thin slices and browning those up in their own fat. I used a beautiful apple-wood smoked bacon I found at the meat counter at Hannaford.
Just before the bacon gets totally crisp, I add about 1/2 cup of diced shallots.
I cook the shallots and bacon together just until the shallots are soft and translucent.
In the meantime, I slice the potatoes into small pieces. I go for something about the size of a quarter but as thick as your pinky finger. I also chop about 1/3 cup of fresh Italian parsley.
I first add the bacon, shallots, and all of the bacon fat into the potatoes. Next, about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar goes in with the parsley as well as a good amount of kosher salt and black pepper. The whole thing gets mixed and, to help it reach the right consistency, I add a little bit of good olive oil. You don’t want to use a lot because (a) good olive oil is expensive, and (b) you want the potato salad to be slightly sticky and not oily.
Here’s what the finished product should look like:
If you did it right, the parsley should be the first thing you taste, since it’s the most fragrant thing in the dish. As it sits on your palate and the oil spreads, you should get the bite of the vinegar as you chew through the potatoes. The bacon and salt should help season the potatoes and provide some additional flavor.
You can store this in the fridge for at least five days. When you’re ready to eat it, either serve it cold, allow it to come to room temperature, or heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave (or a frying pan if you want to dirty a pan). The beauty is that, since there’s no mayonnaise, it’s the perfect dish to bring to a cookout where it could sit out in the sun for a while. (But don’t let it sit out for hours; that’s just gross.)