Everyone has a favorite family recipe for potato salad* but generally we think of it as a summer side dish to be served alongside hamburgers and grilled chicken in the backyard. Here is a warm, hearty winter version made using Idaho® fingerling potatoes combined with kale - a great winter green - and a cannellini bean sauce instead of the usual mayonnaise based binder. And of course, everything is better with a little bacon to garnish the top!
Hearty Winter Potato Salad ~ serves 6
1.5lbs Idaho® Fingerling potatoes, washed (do not peel)
15 oz cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups kale, chopped
2 cups onion, julienne
4 slices bacon
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 + 1 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Wash the Idaho® fingerling potatoes well, but do not peel. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Add garlic cloves (do not remove papery skins) and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat evenly. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender, shaking pan every ten minutes to ensure even cooking.
In a large saucepan, and working in batches, cook bacon until crispy. You will probably need to cut bacon in half. Drain on paper towels. Reserve one tablespoon of bacon fat in the saucepan and discard the rest. Add the onions to the pan, along with 4 sprigs of thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft and beginning to caramelize.
Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Add to the bowl of a food processor along with the leaves from the fifth sprig of thyme. The garlic should be soft by now. Remove from the oven (you can return the potatoes if they need more time) and discard the papery skins. Add the roasted garlic to the food processor and pulse. Add the chicken stock, a little at a time, until the beans reach a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Once the potatoes are tender cut them into even, bite-sized pieces and set aside. Chop cooled bacon into tiny pieces and set aside.
Once the onions are an even color remove the thyme stems and add the kale. Toss to coat with the caramelized onions and cook until kale begins to wilt. Add cannellini sauce and potatoes. Season to taste. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped bacon. Serve warm.
Thom and I paired this hearty Idaho® fingerling potato salad with grilled sirloin steak tips. There was enough for leftovers so we enjoyed it again the next day with broiled salmon. Although best the day its made this dish stands up well to an overnight in the fridge and can be made ahead if necessary.
* Full disclosure: I was paid by the Idaho Potato Commission to develop this recipe. Recipe, all text and photographs are my own.