There's usually a premium on baby potatoes, but sometimes, if I'm lucky, one of the vendors at my local farmers' market will simply charge a dollar or two a pound for all of their potatoes, big and small. If I'm willing to dig, I can get all the baby potatoes I want for super cheap, giving me the sense that I'm totally getting away with something.
So I figured I'd make some potato salad. The soft-boiled eggs combined with just a touch of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard serve as the creamy base of this potato salad; the cornichons adds tartness; the celery hearts, red onion, and lemon juice bring a variety of tart, bright flavors; and the smoked paprika contributes a rich, smokey component. And everything is better with bacon. Add some fresh herbs to round it out, and you've got a killer market baby potato salad.
If you time it right, you can hustle and get everything chopped up before the potatoes finish cooking. But do yourself a favor and get some slab bacon—pre-sliced bacon is usually too thin to cut into proper lardons.
- 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes, washed*
- 6 eggs
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon
- Celery hearts from one bunch celery, washed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 10 cornichons, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Fresh chive, minced
- Fresh thyme, picked
- Vinegar (for soft-boiling eggs)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- * Ideally, all of your potatoes will be nice and small. If you have some bigger ones, just cut them up get everything at an even size.
Start your potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, then simmer till cooked through. Meanwhile:
Soft-boil your eggs. Start the eggs in a pot with cold water, a splash of vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then low simmer for four to five minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Peel. Dice the eggs.
Eat one of your delicious soft-boiled eggs with a little salt and pepper.
Cut your bacon into lardons. Cook on medium heat until nice and crispy. Drain out the fat.
Combine everything in a big bowl. Season.