Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Fennel

By • May 26, 2010 3 Comments

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Author Notes: Growing up I lived across the street from a German family. Mrs. Baum would make this fabulous potato salad, and I would always have at least two servings! I have recreated this salad my way, with the addition of bacon and fennel seed. - CherylDLeeCherylDLee

Food52 Review: Having always eaten the standard mayonnaise-dressed potato salad, this salad was a great change. The recipe calls for ‘1 sugar’ so I added 1 teaspoon, which provided a nice balance to the vinegar and added a bit of a caramel color, since it is part of the cooked dressing. The cucumbers provide a nice crunch in contrast to the softer potatoes. Overall, a great side dish to roast chicken, or even barbecued burgers. - ECmtlThe Editors


Serves 8-10

  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes
  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, slightly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  1. Boil the potatoes whole, with the skin on. When done, drain well and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. At the same time you are cooking the potatoes, cook the bacon slices in a skillet, preferably not non-stick. Remove the bacon when done, drain on a paper towel, and cut into small pieces when cooled.
  3. Place the sliced cucumbers into a large bowl.
  4. Over medium flame, add the fennel, thyme, red pepper and dry mustard to the bacon fat. Stirring constantly, cook the spices for about a minute, or until fragrant.
  5. Carefully add the vinegar to the pan. With a whisk, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the sugar, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the dressing emulsifies slightly.
  7. Pour the hot dressing over the cucumbers to pickle them slightly. Let the dressing and cucumbers sit while you slice the warm potatoes.
  8. Slice the potatoes about a 1/4 inch thick. Add them to the bowl with the cucumbers, and sprinkle with salt. (If your bacon is very salty you may want to omit the salt) Add the reserved bacon pieces, and toss the salad gently.
  9. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature.

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