The best potato salad ever … even without mayo
I was all inspired the other day to cook some chicken on the barbecue. It was Friday evening, the night before the auction of my house and all I wanted to do was enjoy the warmth still left in the air, cook, relax and eat yummy tandoori chicken on the deck (while I still officially owned it) with Matt.
Well, when I removed the cover, I realised that there was no way I was going to be cooking on that thing without it undergoing some very serious cleaning.
I was forced to cook my tandoori chicken inside. I was disappointed that I didn’t have those lovely grill marks you get from the barbecue, but it was still very, very yummy.
To accompany the chicken, I decided to make my favourite potato salad. But amazingly, it’s still incredible flavourful even though there is no creamy mayo in this recipe. It’s what I like to call “healthy” potato salad – if such a thing could be considered healthy. So, rather than the creamy, fat filled stuff that you usually get (which I also love!), this salad is dressed simply with generous amounts of olive oil, lemon, whole grain mustard and salt and pepper. You add the dressing to the potato while they are still hot, because at this temperature the tender potatoes are sponges just waiting to soak up flavours. It’s best left to sit for five or so minutes after you add the dressing, to allow the flavours to meld – then serve it warm.
Potato salad, healthy style
- 500gm of deseree potatoes
- 4 rashers of middle bacon
- 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
- the juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
- A few good glugs of extra virgin olive oil (you know you have enough when the oil coats all the potatoes)
- Half a cup of spring onions
Cut the unpeeled potatoes into largish cubes and steam over a pot of boiling water until they are tender (about 10 minutes, but keep checking them, you don’t want them to go mushy).
Dice the bacon quite thickly (don’t be too pedantic, it should look rustic and homemade) and cook in a non-stick pan in a little olive oil until it is just starting to get crispy.
Transfer the hot, cooked potatoes into a mixing bowl. Pour over the bacon (along with the oil – it has amazing flavour) as well as the mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix gently with a metal spoon (don’t use a wooden spoon – it could smash your potatoes).
Taste it for seasoning and to make sure you have added enough lemon juice. I often add the juice of a whole lemon. You want it to taste tangy.
Put the salad into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the spring onions, which should be finely chopped. They really add a nice crunch. This is great served as a side dish – or it makes a great lunch too.
This is a great recipe because it’s one you can easily modify to suit your tastes – or you could add different things. You could skip the mustard and add pan friend chorizo as the main flavouring with half a teaspoon of paprika. You could even add capers or some chilli for a bit of heat. Or if you wanted, some nice, peppery rocket or watercress to give it a more green feel. Just let this basic recipe inspire you and let your imagination go wild.