"It's a far cry from the standard potato salad."
In the endless world of barbecue sides, the standard potato salad ranks pretty low on my list. Over and over I seem to get a mayo-drenched mush of blandness. Equal part bad experience and love for the potato have brought me through a journey of potato salad variations that do no suck.
From the German to the sweet, there's a lot to love here, and one that stands out among the pack is this recipe for a new potato salad.
It's probably no coincidence that I rant and rave about salad that uses both a half-pound of bacon and the rendered fat it leaves behind to coat sweet onions before they're grilled. That along with grill-crisped potatoes, spring onions, thyme, parsley, and a sherry vinaigrette come together into a salad the rocks a medley of flavors in every bite. Tangy, meaty, fresh, crunchy, creamy—it's a far cry from the standard potato salad and one that can proudly take the plate next to smoked meats.
New Potato Salad
Adapted from Weber's Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae
- For the potatoes:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 lbs new potatoes, washed and cut in half
- 1/2 lb thick cut bacon, cut into 1/4" dice
- 3 medium Vidalia onions, cut crosswise into 1/2" slices and skewered
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 green onions (white part only), thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. When the charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Toss potatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place potatoes over the hot side of the grill, and cook until nicely browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. When browned, move to cool side of the grill and cover. Cooking an additional 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a paring knife. Remove the potatoes from the grill and set aside to cool.
Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy and fat has almost completely rendered, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and add them in with the cooling potatoes. Reserve the rendered bacon fat.
Brush onion slices with reserved bacon fat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on the hot side of the grill until browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes per side. Baste with bacon fat again 1/2 way through cooking process. Remove onion slices from the grill, cut into quarters, and add them in with the potatoes and bacon bits. Add the parsley, green onions, and thyme in the with potatoes.
In a medium bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour dressing over the potatoes and toss gently to evenly coat. Allow potato salad to sit out at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.