f summer had a patron saint, it would be potato salad. It’s the perfect carby, creamy complement to the season’s grilled meat (or some spicy fried chicken). No self-respecting BBQ is complete with out it.
Unfortunately, most potato salad recipes suck. Half are candy-sweet, and the rest taste like you’re freebasing a jar of French’s. While sugar-and-mustard-covered-potatoes seems to be the status quo: we think there’s gotta be a better way.
Potato salad doesn’t need to be cutting edge. It should be familiar and classic– not weird and old fashioned or gussied up and molecular. We made a gentle update, sticking with potatoes long-time BFFs: blue cheese and bacon.
Most tradish recipes call for a dressing of straight mayo thinned with a few tablespoons of vinegar. We lighten things by using equal parts mayonnaise and buttermilk. This is not out of some sense of dietary piety (fuck that) but is, instead, to make the dressing a satiny smooth sauce that clings to each morsel. The buttermilk tang is the perfect foil to the funky, earthy blue cheese and its body-ody-ody keeps things from getting gloppy.
- 4 Eggs
- 5 lbs of Potatoes– well washed, but whole and un-peeled
- 1 tbsp Salt
- ½ lb Thickly-Sliced Bacon
- ¾ cup Mayonnaise
- ¾ cup Buttermilk
- 1 bunch Scallions– greens only, chopped
- 5 oz Blue Cheese– Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue or Point Reyes Bay Blue are our faves
- Black Pepper to taste
- Start by hard boiling your Eggs. You know how to hard boil a fucking do it and if you want to go your own way here, we aren’t going to call the Egg Police. We like to cover them with cold water in a shallow pan, bring it to a simmer, and then kill the heat. Let everything sit exactly where it is for 6 minutes. Shock the Eggs in an ice bath, and let them cool completely.
- Place your whole Potatoes in your largest pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 tbsp Salt and bring them to a boil. Continue to boil until the Potatoes are completely tender, about 15 minutes (depending on the size of your spudz). Drain and let them hang out until they’re room temperature.
- Cut the Bacon into small pieces and crisp in a skillet until they are deeply brown and delicious. Drain well and set aside.
- In your serving bowl, combine the Mayonnaise and Buttermilk. Add ⅔ the Bacon, Scallions, and Blue Cheese, reserving the rest to garnish. Mix well.
- Peel and dice the Eggs into small-but-recognizable cubes– if you’re having trouble peeling, they’re probably still too warm. Stick them in the freezer for up to a minute to help pull the white away from the shell for you. Chop the cool-enough-to-handle Potatoes into bite-sized chunks. The goal is to get a little bit of everything in each bite, but have it be big enough to recognize what you’re eating.
- Carefully fold in the Potatoes and Eggs into the Mayonnaisey goodness, and season with fresh Black Pepper. This salad (“salad”) tastes best after about an hour in the fridge- so let it chill out for a bit and top with the reserved garnishes right before serving.