Loaded Potato Salad for a Crowd

It is hard to believe that we are in the last few weeks of summer.  Where did the time go?

Before I exchange the carefree days of summer for the more structured school days ahead, I am looking forward to a few more rounds of mini golf with the kids, some water gun fights in the yard, and as many outside get togethers as we can fit in!

Summer get-togethers are some of my favorite times.  I love the casual feel that both the friends and food have.  No sit down dinners.  No fancy cooking for hours. Nope.  It’s a “grab a paper plate and lawn chair” kind of time for us!

Casual get togethers don’t mean sub par fare.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. Summer food is some of the best around mainly because of the fresh factor.   Whether you find yourself enjoying the bounty of your own garden or strolling through your local farmer’s market, you are sure to be greeted with a rainbow of colorful produce brimming with flavor.

For me summer food is simple food.  It’s a time to tone things down.  A time to let the fresh ingredients shine.  I am always amazed how a simple Jersey tomato can be transformed into a delectable treat with a bit of salt, pepper, basil, oil, and a splash of vinegar.  Whether it’s a kale salad or a potato salad; fresh, simple ingredients are the stars.

Case in point is my potato salad.  I love to load my potato salad with as many fresh vegetables as possible.  I am a fan of kale, scallions, and carrots, and as a result, they always seem to find their way in.  What I am not a fan of is overly mayonnaised (is that a word?) potato salad.   Too much mayo masks the flavor of all of the other ingredients.  This is no good! No, I want to be able to taste the salty bits of bacon, the earthiness of the kale, the sharpness of the cheese, and the oniony bite of the scallions.

I hope that you’ll think about trying the recipe below.  It’s a little different than most conventional potato salads.  My little trick is to mash about 1/3 of the cooked potato chunks.  This adds a nice creamy texture without having to use copious amounts of mayo.  We love it.  It’s as if mashed potatoes and potato salad had a baby and made this:

Loaded Potato Salad for a Crowd
serves 12-15

5 lbs Jersey Fresh red potatoes
1  & 1/3 cups Jersey Fresh scallions, ends trimmed, sliced thin (green & white parts)
1 cup, packed, Jersey Fresh kale leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Jersey Fresh carrot, shredded
1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Scrub the potatoes clean, leaving the skins on.  Dice the potatoes into bite size pieces.  Boil until fork tender being careful not to overcook. Drain.  Rinse under cold water. Shake colander to remove as much water as possible.

Place the potatoes into a large bowl. Using a handheld potato masher, roughly mash 1/3 of the potatoes.  Stir the potatoes (mashed & unmashed) together.

Add in the sliced scallions, chopped kale, shredded carrot, crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese; fold together.

In a separate bowl stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and pepper.   Stir the mixture into the potato salad, gently folding until combined.

Serve immediately or chill for at least 3-4 hours (covered)

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