I've always loved potato salad in all of its incarnations. Remember the potato salad you could buy from the deli at your grocery store? Maybe I shouldn't use the past tense, I bet it's still available... Anyway, I'm pretty sure it was comprised entirely of just potatoes and mayonnaise, but guess what? I was a fan.
I know mayonnaise, especially the huge quantities often seen in potato salad recipes, is a deal breaker for a lot of people. Clearly not for me, but Shane definitely falls into that category. In fact, when I asked him about potato salad in general, hinting I wanted to make some a few weekends ago, he politely, but in no uncertain terms, said no thanks. Undeterred, I set out to find a version that would change his mind. I also hoped to keep it on the lighter side, at least as much as is possible when the main ingredient in the dish is potatoes :)
When I stumbled upon this roasted potato salad with honey mustard dressing and bacon, I was pretty sure I had my winner. You start with baby red potatoes. No need to peel them, just wash, cut and roast until fork tender - so easy! The potatoes are then combined with crispy bacon, garlic, and lightly caramelized onions. I probably could have stopped there and been happy, but the dressing wound up being the perfect finishing touch. There's only a tiny amount of mayonnaise, and you won't even taste it because the tangy mustard really is the star, it adds a ton of flavor! He was skeptical, but this potato salad definitely won Shane over (he ate it with both lunch and dinner the day I made it!). I have no doubt it'll become one of our go-to dishes this summer.
Roasted Potato Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing and Bacon
slightly adapted from Cooking Light, July 2006
3 pounds baby red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 heaping cup diced sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (or two baking sheets if you need to). Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender, tossing them once or twice as they cook. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has browned and is crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan. To the bacon fat, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the onions have softened and are starting to caramelize. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture, as well as the bacon, to the bowl with the potatoes. Gently toss to combine. Set aside while you make the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and add the parsley to the bowl as well. Gently toss to coat the potatoes. You can serve immediately, but I found the potato salad was best after the flavors had the chance to meld for an hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled.