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Ottolenghi Inspired Potato Salad

Often a photo of something can spark my imagination. I follow Yotam Ottolenghi on Instagram and he posted a photo of what looked to be coarse grain mustard studded potato salad with fresh peas strewn throughout. I did a quick Google search and could not for the life of me locate any such recipe of his. So I improvised. I do love a good recipe but it is also fun and gets my creative juices flowing to just try making something as you go. Our friend CoCo was up from Portland visiting us this week-end so we grocery shopped & cooked dinner together. I roasted a chicken and this potato salad nestled right up to it perfectly. 

Hard boiled eggs and bacon were added to this to really bump up the heartiness of all this.  Plus we used some of the bacon fat to create the vinaigrette that the warm potatoes soaked up to create the dressing. We had leftovers, as we always cook for an army, and we are having them tonight. I can hardly wait and I just finished breakfast.

Cut up a bunch of green onions, put them in a bowl and cover the onions with rice wine vinegar. This does one of two things. It mellows the onions considerably, and the vinegar takes on some of the onion flavor. The rice wine vinegar will be used later to make the dressing. Set bowl aside. This should sit for at least a half hour. Longer is fine too.

In a large pot, add medium to large sized Yukon gold potatoes (I used 10 medium sized) to the water and bring to a boil. You want the potatoes whole with the skin still on. Using a sharp knife to insert into the potatoes as they cook to check when they are done. You want them a tad firm and not falling apart.

In a small pan add 4 eggs and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook for a minutes or two. Then turn the heat off and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Take them out and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. Freshen the water, bring to a boil again, and blanch the peas for just a minute. Take them out, adding running cold water over the colander. Fresh peas cook so quickly, plus they will cook a bit once the warm potatoes hit them. Set aside.

As the potatoes boil away, put a few slices of really good quality bacon in a dry sauce pan on medium heat. I use a kitchen scissor and cut the raw bacon right into the pan. Cook until bacon is done, putting the now nice and browned bacon on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

In a really good sized bowl, add 2 super generous spoonful of course ground mustard and 1 of Dijon mustard. Add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of pepper. I know, it is quite a bit, but potatoes need it. Then add the rice wine vinegar that the green onions have been sitting in, letting the onions still sit in the bowl. They have not been called into duty quite yet. Then add some of the bacon fat that the bacon created along with extra virgin olive oil. With a fork or whisk, mix until you are happy with the consistency. This is the dressing for the potatoes, so you want a good amount as they really soak it up. If it is too thick, add more vinegar. If it is too thin, add a bit more bacon fat or more mustard. Try a taste as you go. 

Once the potatoes are done, take them out of the hot water and strain. They will still be pretty hot, but carefully cut them in quarters or slices, whichever you prefer, adding them to the vinaigrette as you cut them. The warm potatoes will soak up quite a bit of the dressing, which is what you want. Then add the bacon, peas, green onions and chopped up eggs. Toss. Have a taste. Does it need more salt or pepper? Maybe yes or maybe no. Then add a few handful of chopped Italian parsley. Toss again. One final taste. There, you did it! You just made one very hearty potato salad. Because this is not made with the traditional mayo, this potato salad can sit out a good long while, making it a lovely addition for a picnic or outside gathering this Summer.