Red Skin Potato Salad with Leeks & Bacon

Red Skin Potato Salad with Leeks & Bacon

Move over, regular ol' potato salad. This red skin potato salad recipe features bacon, leeks, thyme, and our Three Kings seasoning to create an amazing depth of flavor.  You'll never want to eat regular potato salad again.

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Last week, we had my favorite chef over for dinner for the first time.  Ben Thorpe is a multi-talented chef (listen to his interview pm Montana Public Radio here.)  His food is amazing.  

Greg had invited him to dinner and broke the news to me by saying, "Chef is coming over for dinner this week, and you're cooking." He was only half kidding.  Great.

We decided to feed him baby back ribs with a combination of our seasoning blends and rubs, with homemade bread and potato salad.  I wanted to try something a little different, so I came up with this Potato & Leek salad.    

 Rule: don't experiment on guests.  Except when you want to have an epic fail.

I'm so glad I broke that rule.

What's different about this Potato Salad Recipe?

Red potatoes and leeks from the garden for our potato salad recipe
Red potatoes and leeks from the garden for our potato salad recipe

I'm really not a big fan of traditional potato salad recipes.  I think it's mostly because I could live my entire life without eating yellow mustard and be happy.  I prefer red potato salads, which tend to consist of a nice red potato, mayo, scallions, salt, and pepper.  

But that still seemed a bit boring for a guy like Ben, who had proposed haggis for our last Chef's Table menu at a local restaurant.  (Note: Haggis was vetoed by a few of our less-adventurous friends who shall remain nameless.  I'll try anything, especially when it's prepared by Ben.  He must be amazing if he can make sheep stomach sound appetizing.)

Surveying my garden, I noticed our big, beautiful leeks, and decided to pair them with bacon (always delicious!) and fresh thyme to get a more unique, less oniony flavor.  Add in a dash of our Three Kings seasoning and BAM!  The result: a potato salad with an earthy, smoky depth and a just a little kick in the pants.

Why this potato salad recipe works

  • We used Red Pontiacs, which are a waxy potato.  Another good potato, though with a different flavor, would be a Yukon Gold.  Don't use Russet potatoes.  They're too mushy for potato salad.  They'll just make you sad.
  • Leeks have a milder flavor than onions, and pair ever so nicely with bacon.  Fresh thyme leaves add an extra layer of depth and balance.
  • Our Three Kings seasoning, which blends smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors together.

Red Skin Potato Salad with Leeks & Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 30 minutes  Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs uncooked medium red potatoes (I love Red Pontiacs for this recipe!)
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 3 large leeks, quartered and sliced (white and tender green portions only)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Three Kings Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Place whole potatoes in a large pan, covering them with cold water. If you have a couple odd larger potatoes, cut them in half. The goal is to have them the same size so they cook at the same rate. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender; about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Cool the potatoes. When they're cool enough to handle, chop into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces (or slice them if you want to get fancy)
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a hot skillet over medium-high heat. When the bacon is crisp, drain for a few minutes on paper towels. Tear into small pieces.
  4. Drain the skillet of all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Heat until shimmery. Add the leeks to the skillet, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until just slightly tender. Add the thyme and stir. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine mayo, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Three Kings Seasoning. Whisk to blend. Transfer potatoes and leeks to a large bowl. Add the bacon. Toss with dressing until coated.
  6. Add parsley and give another quick toss, reserving some parsley for garnish if you wish. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

  • If you don't have leeks readily available, you can use green onions (but I really recommend the leeks!) Yukon gold potatoes may be substituted for a slightly different flavor. Don't use Russett potatoes for potato salad, or you'll just get a mush.
  • Lighten up: Substitute turkey bacon for regular bacon, and use light or fat free mayo instead of regular.

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We love history, old movies, exploring the outdoors, and of course -- cooking together. Our faithful pups, Mila and Eva, are always ready to clean up any morsels that accidentally tumble from the kitchen counter.