May 22, 2008

You Can't Stop The Beet Potato Salad


Ingredients:
2 lb potato, cubed
1 lb roasted beets
2 cups chopped beet greens
1 onion, diced
2 slices thick cut bacon


dressing:
2 tablespoons grainy deli mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, grated
salt
pepper
pinch sugar

Directions:
Cube beets. Whisk together all of the ingredients of the dressing together, set aside. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender but not crumbly. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towel lined plates and crumble. Drain all but 1 teaspoon of bacon drippings out of the pan and saute the onion until just softened. Drain the potatoes and immediately toss with beets, onions, bacon and beet greens. Add the dressing and toss to evenly distribute. Serve hot or cold.

Quick note: Beets are in season this time of year, so it should be easy to find beets with healthy leaves still attached. Avoid beets with wilted or bruised leaves.

My thoughts:
It's been unseasonably cold and rainy all month here in Baltimore, so I have been doing more dreaming of picnics than actually having them. As soon as the weather warms up a bit, this salad is going back on the menu.

This salad takes its inspiration from the classic German potato salad but elevates it to a whole new level with the addition of beets and greens. It just might be a little healthier too; less frying, more vegetables. Now the beets do pretty much color everything with their juices which might be off-putting to some but the flavor isn't overwhelmingly beet-y; the potatoes and greens provide the needed balance. The dressing is wonderfully tart yet slightly sweet and really brings out the roasted beet flavor and the smokiness of the bacon.