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Warm Potato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe: Warm Potato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar


    Surprise your guests or family with a new twist on potato salad, starting with serving it warm. Even on a hot day, this one's a hit. We're going to use less mayonnaise, we're going to "twist" the other ingredients just enough to make people think and then we are going to add balsamic vinegar to make it modern.

Serves 6 to 8


    2 pounds of small red potatoes, washed and quartered
    4 pieces of bacon, cooked crispy and diced
    1 bunch of scallions, cleaned and sliced into quarter-inch pieces up to the mid-green section
    1-1/2 cups diagonal-cut celery hearts
    1 red pepper, chopped
    1 Tbl minced fresh Italian parsley
    Up to 6 oz. of mayo (Regular, light mayo and even fat-free will work.)
    4 Tbl balsamic vinegar


    Cover your potato pieces with water in a large pot and boil until tender. While they are boiling you can do all of your chopping and fry your bacon. One thing that really makes this salad interesting is the juxtaposition of the cold veggies and the hot potatoes so, if you get your chopping done early, put the chopped veggies in your serving bowl and put the whole thing in the refrigerator. Keep the bowl and the veggies all crisp and cold.

    Just when you are ready to serve, you are going to add your hot potatoes, your bacon bits and stir in your mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar. You don't need to use the whole amount of mayo if you don't want to. It depends on how creamy you want your potatoes. Because the potatoes are hot you'll notice how the mayo sort of "disappears" and melts into the potatoes; sort of like sour cream does on a hot baked potato. The potatoes get a bit creamy as you stir them. Be gentle. The more you bang them around, the more they will resemble mashed potatoes and that's not really the objective.

    The nice thing is, when you serve this dish, the cold, crisp veggies will stand out in your mouth. The cold and hot really taste great together on a hot summer night. A few people have told me that, when reading this recipe, they were reminded of German potato salad. I checked out a few recipes for German potato salad and they are close. Some of the ingredients are the same, but this will taste quite a bit different because you're not cooking all of the ingredients and the "dressing" is not the same.

    With a simple grilled steak, you really have something. If you let the potato salad come to room temperature, it will still taste good. (Just don't leave it out for hours!) It's even a great leftover--reheated or cold.


    Twist #1. When the potatoes are just about done, you can drain them and then put them on the grill. Grill them until they get grill marks and the "charcoal flavor." This adds another step but gives it more of a smoky flavor. It's not necessary but just another twist if you have time and the inclination.

    Twist #2. Take the potatoes out when they are almost cooked and saut? them in butter. This is a caloric extravagance. You sauté them until they are browned on the white edges of the potatoes. You've added another twist, a bunch of calories and another flavor sensation, but sometimes you just feel like going overboard. With this version, go ahead and add fresh minced tarragon and you'll feel ooh, la, la, French!

Serving Suggestions:


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