Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Potato salad is a favourite for a BBQ, picnic or family feast. This recipe comes complete with all the bells and whistles - crispy bacon, soft boiled eggs, fresh chives - and it's a stunner on the dinner table. The star ingredient, the humble potato, is cooked and cooled for its gut-friendly properties. (For more on potato and resistant starches, read my blog here!) I also add some shredded, fresh lettuce to further lighten the carbohydrate and calorie load and absorb the flavour of the dressing.
But don't potatoes contain lots of carbs that will make you fat?
Yes, potatoes contain carbs, but it's misplaced to simply equate 'potato' and 'carbs' and 'fattening' all in the one sentence. Amid all of the carbophobic confusion, it's common for fitness folks to avoid all potatoes like the plague. I've had my fair share of potato-phobic moments while dieting to lose body fat and dialling in my macros for competition. There's been times that I've tentatively added potatoes to my meals, afraid that I'd store the carbs as fat. Here's the thing that I too easily ignored - potatoes, like other real foods that are dense in carbohydrates, are not just carbohydrates. The macro and micro nutrient profile of potatoes is completely different to that of bread, pasta or cookies. And it's nonsense to cast sweet potato as the darling of the health food scene while the humble white potato is demonised as fattening, nutrient deficient and off limits. Potato varieties from both potato families contain an array of important nutrients, such as vitamin C, manganese and potassium. (Although, if you're keen to bump up your vitamin A intake, sweet potato is your friend!)
Still, potato salad is deliciously dense. If I'm eating to lose or maintain body fat, I'll make both a potato salad and a fresh, green salad as sides to a steak so that I have multiple options available. This helps to manage the temptation to automatically load half of my plate with a filling potato salad, and it means that I can still have all the nutritional benefits of the resistant starches in the cooked and cooled potatoes.
The best ever potato salad
A classic potato salad with all the good stuff - crispy bacon, soft boiled eggs, fresh chives and a tangy, home made aioli dressing
Prep time: 40 minutes (plus another 25 minutes to make the aioli)
Difficulty: Easy, but allow time for multiple steps
8 medium potatoes
1/2 cup home made aioli
1 - 1 1/2 tbsps apple cider vinegar (depends on how thin your aioli is)
1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
[Optional] 1 tbsp sour cream
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
5 eggs, hard boiled
4 slices bacon, diced
1 tsp organic butter
1 - 1 1/2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
Fresh chives, chopped to garnish
Small fry pan
First, you'll need to prepare your home made aioli. You can do this the day before. Don't be tempted to skip this for packaged, bottled mayo instead. My recipe for home made aioli with chives and black pepper is easy to make and you'll be able to trust the ingredient list!
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, and then adjust the temperature to keep the potatoes at a simmer until done. This could take 10 minutes if the potatoes are small, or up to around 25 minutes if using larger potatoes. Use a fork to check whether the potatoes are ready - they should be tender but not too soft.
Drain and rinse the potatoes and cool until they are able to be handled. Chop the potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Place chopped potatoes in fridge for around 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Boil the eggs. To save time, do this while you cook the potatoes, or to minimise mess use the same pot after preparing the potatoes.
Drain and rinse the boiled eggs and cool until they are able to be shelled. Shell the eggs and cut into slices or quarters as desired.
Combine aioli, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. If it's too runny, I like to add 1 tbsp of sour cream to thicken it.
Remove potatoes from fridge and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add dressing to potatoes and toss to coat.
Add celery and spring onions and mix well.
In a small pan, fry bacon in butter until cooked and slightly crispy, about 3 minutes.
Add half of the eggs and half of the bacon to the salad and toss to combine.
Toss in the lettuce.
Position the other half of the eggs and bacon on top of the salad so that you win points for presentation.
Garnish with chives, salt and pepper.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.
A waxy variety of white potatoes will hold its shape best after cooking, but you could use any kind.
I prefer to eat the potato skin so I don't peel the potatoes. That said, the skin tends to peel off the potato after boiling, so you could peel the potatoes before boiling if preferred.
Precision Nutrition, Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: Which are really healthier? [Infographic].