Monday, September 2, 2013

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad

I have worked 180 hours in the last two weeks. 
We took on a huge project at my real life job, and as a result, have almost been living at the office. 
This left no time for cooking, baking, writing about cooking and baking, or running.
This also means that I've been eating take out or nothing at all for almost every meal. 
I miss my kitchen.
Labor Day, fittingly, is my first day off in a couple weeks. 
We celebrated yesterday with the family at my mother-in-law's
and I decided to finally write the recipe for the potato salad I took. 
I'm not a huge fan of classic potato salads, so I came up with this alternative a few years ago. 
I took inspiration from the classic loaded baked potato you can get at any steakhouse. 
How do you make a baked potato better?  Add bacon.
How do you make garlic yummier?  Roast it.

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad

Printable Recipe

You'll Need...
3 pounds red potatoes, washed
12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
8-10 green onions (one bunch), chopped
4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded

For the dressing -
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon.  Add it to a cold frying pan, placed over medium heat and fry, turning often, until bacon reaches your desired level of crispiness.  Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease and cool.  Once cooled, chop and set aside.

Roast the garlic.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Slice off the top of the bulb, so that each clove of garlic is exposed, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap the garlic in foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool. 
Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the bulb and into the bowl you will use to prepare the dressing.  The garlic will be golden in color, and very soft.  Using a fork, smash the roasted cloves into a paste.  Add the parsley, Dijon, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the garlic paste.  Once combined, stir the mayonnaise into this mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Slice the green onions.  Trim the roots and tips from the onions, and slice, using both greens and whites.  You will end up with about a cup of onions.

Cook the potatoes.  Place them in a large stock pot, and enough cold water to cover.  Put the pot over medium high heat, cover and bring to a boil.  Boil, covered, until potatoes are tender (time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes, check with a fork after 15 minutes).  Drain and allow to cool until easy to handle.  Cut into 3/4 inch chunks and place in a large mixing bowl, season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  While the potatoes are still warm, add the bacon and dressing and gently stir to coat. 

Allow the potatoes to cool completely, then add the shredded cheese and sliced green onions.  Stir to combine, transfer to the serving dish of you choice, and get ready for everyone to ask for your recipe. 
While I was making this potato salad and writing the recipe, I had a brainwave.
Why have I never thought to roast the potatoes too?
Cut them up BEFORE I cook them, drizzle with a little olive oil,
season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, spread them out on a baking sheet
and roast until tender (and a little caramelized).
(If you have a chance to try this variation before I do, let me know how it turns out.)

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