Potato Salad With Crispy Croutons

Best one

Potato salad is the most non-salady, blatantly unhealthy specimen of all the salads. The only thing I can think of that comes close is Insalata Caprese, which, roughly translated from the Italian, means Cheese Salad*. When mayonnaise starts becoming not only a major player in a dish but pretty much the ONLY thing that even matters about it apart from huge amounts of carbohydrate then you’ve got to reevaluate even calling it a salad; however, I am not the person to bother to do that.

In terms of poor decisions about what to consume it is already crossing some kind of line, so in these situations I often think ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’, because I’m irresponsible and also tend to say quaint, old-timey things a lot. I really enjoy salads with some crunch or crispy textural element to them that makes them interesting to eat, so I used fried potato as a sort of crouton-style addition.

I haven’t included it in the recipe, but last Christmas my husband put some of his freshly-picked own-grown peas in it, a moment of rare genius in a salad-making experience that was otherwise just me telling him what to do. So if you have access to fresh peas during pea-time, think about adding them!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1Kg Waxy potatoes, washed (15-ish) + 3-4 extra
  • 2 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Slices Rindless middle bacon (or any other bacon, whatever)
  • 1/2 Red onion, diced OR 2 Spring onions, sliced
  • 1 Recipe Really Thick Mayonnaise
  • Large spoonful of wholegrain mustard
  • Small handful of capers
  • Bunch of mint, washed and roughly chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  • If you have a deep-fryer, set it heating at 180°C.
  • Cut your potatoes into halves, then quarter the halves. If any are very small or very big, use your judgement; just get them pretty uniform and easily edible.
  • Peel your extra potatoes, keeping the peel. Cut these up as well but you don’t have to worry about the sizing as much since they are for ‘croutons’.
  • Put your main portion of potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Salt the water and set the pot boiling.
  • Put your soon-to-be-croutonised potatoes in a smaller pot and get them boiling away as well.
  • Peel off the leaves of the brussels sprouts. Steam them over the cooking potatoes until they are bright in colour, then throw them into a bowl of iced water, taking them out promptly and draining them again.
  • Cut the bacon into strips and fry it until it is crispy. Cut it into small chunks.
  • Check your potatoes; when they are done they will be tender when poked with a knife, but remaining pretty firm and not breaking apart or getting waterlogged. Drain them off and rinse them a few times in cold water to stop them cooking further.
  • When the crouton potatoes are cooked, drain them off, put the pot lid back on, hold it tight and shake the pot around a bit. This will break up the potatoes into large crumb-y bits.
  • Chuck your croutons into the deep-fryer to become golden and crispy. If you don’t have a deep-fryer then go out and buy one you will need to shallow-fry them in a pan or pot full of oil. I sometimes fry the potato peel as well. Drain them on a paper towel.
  • Now you are ready to assemble your salad, checking the seasoning and adding some salt and pepper to your taste. Keep the croutons for the top, so they don’t go soggy. Go easy on the mayonnaise: the idea is to lightly coat the ingredients, not dowse them, despite how fricking great that sounds.

Now all you have to do is share and enjoy your ‘salad’!

*It really does not. But the main component is mozzarella so I’m basically correct.

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