Tossed in a tangy homemade dressing, studded with crispy pieces of bacon and piled high on a bed of greens, this Caesar Potato Salad will be a huge hit at your next cookout. It’s easy to make, can be prepared in advance, and enjoyed warm or cold. The potato salad and Caesar dressing are actually Whole30 compliant, but if you’re living your Food Freedom, try garnishing it with a light snowfall of freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
What You Need for this Caesar Potato Salad
- Creamer Potatoes: These little spuds cook quickly and have the perfect texture for this Caesar Potato Salad. They’re creamy in the middle with a firm flesh that holds them together. You can use any variety of small potato you like. If you use large potatoes, I recommend cooking them whole and cutting them into small pieces after. This will help keep the starch and nutrients in tact and prevent them from overcooking.
- Bacon: Crispy bits of bacon add texture, colour and lots of flavour to the potato salad. To keep things Whole30, look for a sugar-free bacon. If you don’t eat pork, you can substitute your favourite turkey or beef bacon.
- Anchovies: In my opinion, it’s not a caesar salad with anchovies in the dressing. They add a deeply savoury, briny, umami flavour rather than something overtly fishy. For best results, look for whole anchovies packed in olive oil. Avoid anchovy pastes that come in a tube. They’re usually intensely salted and have a much stronger fishy and bitter flavour.
- Garlic: For a big punch of garlicky flavour, try finely grating it with a zester, like this microplane. If you don’t have a fine grater, you can finely chop the garlic or form it into a paste with the side of your knife blade on a cutting board.
- Egg Yolks: To make the caesar dressing, you’ll need to crack a couple of eggs. I like to use the yolks only because it gives the dressing a beautifully deep, yellow colour. Save the whites and add them to your omelet the next morning.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice is a must for a delicious caesar dressing. If you want even more of a lemony flavour, you can add some of the zest using the same grater you used for the garlic.
- Dijon Mustard: Leave the yellow stuff for your burgers and hot dogs. You’ll want a sharp, tangy, ever-so-slightly spicy Dijon mustard for this Caesar Potato Salad. My go-to is Maille. It’s made without added sugars or alcohols but it does have a small amount of sodium metabisulfite, which is technically off limits on Whole30.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Caesar dressing is essentially an aioli and one of the defining flavours is the extra-virgin olive oil used. It will give it a slightly bitter flavour but the potatoes can handle it.
- Boston Lettuce: For a contrast in texture, try serving the caesar potato salad over a bed of Boston lettuce. The buttery greens go incredibly well with the potatoes and add some juiciness with every bite.
- Belgian Endive: I also love to serve the potato salad with crunchy endive leaves. They’re unexpected and pair very well with the Boston lettuce.
- Freshly-Grated Parmigiano Reggiano: If so inclined, top everything off with a blanket of Parmigiano Reggiano or your favourite hard, ripened cheese, such as Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano or even Manchego.
Caesar Potato Salad with Bacon
- 1.5 pounds creamer potatoes substitute baby potatoes
- Kosher salt to taste
- 5 strips bacon substitute turkey or beef bacon
- 3 small anchovy filets packed in olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic finely grated or formed into a paste
- 2 large eggs whites and yolks separated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus more to taste
- 1.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 head Boston lettuce leaves separated and kept whole
- 1 Belgian endive leaves separated and kept whole
- Freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese optional
- Fill a pot with water, add the potatoes and stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook the potatoes until fork-tender but not crumbling, around 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes into a colander and set aside to slightly cool.
- In a separate skillet, add the bacon and set over medium heat. Cook until golden brown, around 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown and crispy, around 2 more minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
- Add the anchovies to a large salad bowl and use a fork to mash them into a paste. Add the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, and black pepper and whisk until smooth and combined. While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until fully emulsified. It should be a painfully slow drizzle. Taste the dressing for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and lemon juice as desired.
- Using your hands, tear each potato in half and add them to the bowl with the dressing. Toss everything to coat. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired.
- Arrange the lettuce and endive on a large serving platter. Top with the potatoes and crumble the bacon overtop. Garnish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, if using, and serve while still warm.