To me, nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of potatoes.
This is a recipe I first learned from my Mom. I was never a fan of creamy potato salads but the one she made, using a vinegar-based dressing, was always one of my favorite things to eat. She usually made it with peas and bacon but being a picky child (then a picky teenager, then a picky adult), I always got her to make me a seperate batch without either of those things. I’ve now come to appreciate bacon in this salad but I still leave the peas out.
8 medium-sized white potatoes
1/2 sweet onion
5 slices thick-cut bacon
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
This will make about 8 servings if you’re using it as a side dish. Less if you eat it by the bowlful like I do.
Boil a big pot of salted water and throw in the potatoes. I always peel the potatoes after boiling, but feel free to peel them before if you don’t share my aversion to potato peelers. The potatoes should take about 40 minutes to cook, depending on how big they are. To test them, stick a knife in the biggest one – the potato should fall smoothly off the knife. When they’re done, drain the water and let them cool.
While the potatoes are boiling, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients:
Dice up the onion. It’s really important that you have a nice sweet, crunchy onion. Vidalia onions are the best, though they may not be available everywhere.
Slice up the bacon. I like to use a salt-cured bacon, like Pancetta rather than the more common smoked bacon. I wasn’t able to find Pancetta so I used Toucinho, which is a Portuguese bacon. Cut it in thick chunks.
Brown the bacon, then take the pan off the heat and set aside.
Prepare the dressing, using equal parts safflower oil, rice vinegar and water. I like to use seasoned rice vinegar, but any light or white vinegar should be fine. Add pepper to the dressing, followed by salt. If you’re careful about it, the salt and pepper will sink to the bottom of the mixture then rise again, like a lava lamp, which is fun and provides me with a few minutes of distraction whenever I make this. Then add the Greek seasoning.
Once the potatoes have finished cooking and cooling, roughly slice them into a bowl.
Add the bacon to the potatoes. If you’re feeling especially naughty, add the bacon grease from the pan too.
Add the onions.
Pour in about 2/3 of the dressing and mix thoroughly. Break apart the bigger pieces of potato as you mix it. Add in more dressing if it’s needed. If it isn’t, keep the extra. The potatoes will absorb a lot of the moisture if you let them sit and you might want to add some more later.
Serve and enjoy!