Yesterday was Easter, and to our family that means what every holiday means… big meals, family, food, friends, and eating. Yes theres a repeating theme there and now you can see where we get it from! There was lots of food, stuffed lamb, raviolis, salad, fresh bread and Charisse’s dad’s special request: a delicious Red Spud Salad, our contribution to the meal. A potato salad at Easter time was a staple in the Farnsworth household for years and was also a contribution to the dinner table from Grandma Martha. Since she passed away about 3 years ago the potato salad has been lacking and nobody every really thought much about it. A couple days ago we were talking about what we could bring to Easter Sunday Brunch and were thinking about the Tres-Leches cake or how about a cheesy zucchini casserole? At Patrick Farnsworth’s request we settled potato salad as good as my Grandma’s. Now we are not mayonnaise people by any means, in fact Charisse has only been able to tolerate it in the last few years, so any sort of “salad” with a mayo base is not her thing. But her father requested it, so we just had to make one. Mouths watered, bacon glistened and a new tradition was born. While the base salad is fairly traditional in many ways Charisse did put a bit of her own twist in it. We used red spuds instead of the yukon potatoes, mostly for texture color. We deleted celery out of the dish, nobody here really likes the stuff. Lastly by topping the salad off with crispy chopped bacon, we made sure that everyone would love it, because hey, everything tastes better with bacon. Charisse thought not only would it add some great color and texture, but who doesn’t love bacon?! Maybe Vegans, but if you are a Vegan you probably already figured out this isn’t the site for you, sorry. Overall this was a complete success, the fresh dill and parsley and all the great crunchiness of the veggies went perfectly together and was very refreshing. You could certainly experiment with this recipe, water chestnuts would be wonderful thrown into the mix…or maybe some cucumbers! Either way, you will definitely need to loosen your belt after this one!
As an aside, this recepie calls for bacon, which leaves you with one precious new resource, bacon fat! Bacon fat really is your best friend in the kitchen, we use it all the time. Store your bacon fat in the fridge, we use a simple glass jar we got at the dollar store, for a dollar. Keep in mind that if your jar is not tempered, don’t pour the fat straight from the pan. We use big a Pyrex measuring cup, its tempered and has a pour spout. Once the fat has cooled to a reasonable temperature, we transfer it to our jar, and store it in the fridge. Here’s our jar, you can see the hardened fat at the bottom, and the new layer at the top. Clearly, this salad called for a lot of bacon.
Red Spud Salad
What You Will Need
2 lbs red potatoes (washed and cubed, skins still on)
4 large hard boiled eggs (grated)
1 bunch of scallions (sliced both white and green parts)
2 Tbs capers
2 cups of mayonnaise
1/4 cup djion mustard
1/4 cup dill pickles (diced)
1/4 cup pickle juice
1/2 a red onion (minced)
2 Tbs fresh parsley (minced)
2 Tbs fresh dill (minced)
1/2 a lemon (juiced)
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices of bacon (cooked until crispy and then roughly chopped)
Wash and dice the potatoes, leaving the pretty red skins on. Boil for about 15 minutes, until you can easily stick them with a fork. Make sure not to over boil them because you will want to retain the shape of the potato and not have mushed potato salad! Drain and let cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl whisk the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, pickle juice, salt and pepper together. Put some scallions aside for topping. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, making sure to coat everything. Chill.
Top salad with chopped bacon and reserved scallions.
Adapted from Tyler Florence Potato Salad