Summertime means barbeque season. Barbeque season means simple, delicious, flavorful sides. The most popular and versatile side dish out there is potato salad. From everything to classic egg and mustard to capers and dill there are countless flavors of potato salad these days. One of my family’s favorite is this Sweet Pepper and Cornichon Potato Salad.
I was first introduced to the sour tangy taste of a cornichon a few years ago. We went to a food festival and there was this food truck that was selling this sweet and sour coleslaw.
Honestly, it was the most amazing thing I have ever tasted.
It may have been the warm weather or the beer, but this coleslaw was so fresh and crisp. It was the perfect combination of sweet and sour; not to mention oh so creamy. It made my taste buds do a happy dance. I had to go back for another serving, so I could dissect it and figure out what made it so special.
That is when I spotted this pickle like thing. It tasted nothing like a pickle, but it looked like the gherkins my grandmother used to put out every day at lunch.
So, because I had to know, I went and asked the vendor what it was. The guy was very sweet. He explained it was his grandfather’s recipe and he has never shared it, but since I spotted the secret ingredient he would tell me the name of it. Cornichon, a French-style pickle. Sort of like a bread and butter pickle but not as sweet and a lot sourer.
Since that day I have been experimenting with cornichons. I don’t like them on their own but when combined with onions, garlic, peppers or really anything sweet they are amazing. I even use them when I make homemade tartar sauce instead of relish.
Which brings me to this Sweet Pepper and Cornichon Potato Salad. One weekend we decided to have some friends over for a barbeque. What simpler way to relax when entertaining that to make all your sides ahead of time? Right?
Like many people when I think barbeque the first side that comes to mind is potato salad. But! I didn’t want a basic egg and mustard potato salad; since I had an allergic reaction the week before from eating too much of what I am not supposed to, therefore, mustard was out of the question.
I thought, “How am I going to give the potato salad some zip, some zing, some tangy zest?” As I rummaged through my fridge I came across the Cornichons. I thought…. “Sure, why not.”
Combined them with some sweet baby bell peppers for some sweetness and caramelized some onions. Now, let’s face it bacon makes everything better so why not fry up a few strips and crumble it in the Sweet Pepper and Cornichon Potato Salad dressing as well.
Am I the only one that makes potato salad in advance then come the next day it doesn’t look creamy at all? What a disappointment! You know! Yes, you can always add more mayo, but then the flavors get masked.
My quick and simple fix for this is to make the dressing for the potato salad the day before. I typically only add half of the whatever makes it creamy (i.e. mayo, miracle whip, sour cream).
My reasoning for only adding half is the salt that is added to the veggies will extract liquid; sometimes making the dressing runny. So, if you feel you only need to add a little more mayo or sour cream to make it creamer the next day or if you like it without extra that is fine too. This recipe is very flexible.
Tip: If you add more mayo make sure you do it first thing in the morning, so the flavors have time to marry in the fridge.
Well, there you have it, folks, Sweet Pepper and Cornichon Potato Salad simple, easy, make-ahead side dish for your next barbeque. Now, just to figure out that delicious coleslaw.
Tart and slightly sour Cornichons combined with sweet baby bell peppers and caramelized onions added bacon crumbles for smokiness. Avacado mayo and some sour cream add the creaminess mixed with dill and parsley makes up this delicious flavorful make-ahead Sweet Pepper and Cornichon Potato Salad.
- 3 small yellow sweet peppers finely chopped
- 2 small red sweet peppers finely chopped
- 5 Cornichons finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 thick slice applewood smoked bacon
- 1/2 cup avocado mayo divided
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt add more if desired
- 1/2 tbsp dried dill weed
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chive
- 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 6 medium russet potatoes cut in 1/4 inch pieces
In a medium saucepan saute finely chopped onions in olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium-low heat until onions start to become translucent. This should take 5-7 minutes.
While onions are sauteing start chopping up your peppers and Cornichons. In a small mixing bowl stir together peppers, Cornichons, and sauteed onions.
Fry bacon in the same pan you sauteed the onions in until bacon is crisp, make sure you flip in a few times to ensure you don't burn the bacon. Once crisp removes bacon and set on a paper towel to cool and to remove any excess grease. Once bacon is cool 3-5 minutes finely chop up the bacon and add it to the peppers, Cornichons, and onions.
Add 1/4 cup mayo, dill, chive, parsley and garlic to the finely chopped peppers, Cornichons, onions, and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning check on the mixture, add in the final 1/4 cup mayo and sour cream. Cover again and refrigerate until ready to use.
Boil the 1/4 inch pieces of potatoes in boiling salt water (medium heat) until they are fork tender. This takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes depending on your potatoes.
Allow potatoes to cool 30 minutes before stirring and coating in the pepper, Cornichons, onion, bacon, mayo, and herb mixture.
Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
The FDA says stick to the 2-hour mark when it comes to leaving out mayo-based foods. For more information here is a great article. Safty and health first folks.
Another BBQ favorite: Instant Pot Whiskey Baked Beans