Sneaking in this perfectly charred Jersey-Style Grilled Potato Salad ahead of the holiday weekend! The grill truly takes the classic side dish to an entirely new level. You get that Garden State flare with sweet corn, zucchini, bell pepper, and none other than our indigenous pork roll! If you’re unfamiliar with NJ’s alternative to ham and bacon, read on.😉
So what is pork roll?
While we are the Garden State and known for our produce, pork roll is a product that’s not as recognized once you go beyond neighboring states. For some quick history, pork roll came on the seen back in 1856 thanks to John Taylor of Trenton, and was originally sold as Taylor Ham. Case is Taylor’s rival for Jerseyans most prized salted pork product. I quite frankly can’t tell the difference, but I’m sure there are folks out there who swear one is better than the other.
Regardless, pork roll has a unique sweet-and-salty taste all its own. When raw you can see it’s pale pink and has a texture similar to bologna but slightly denser and not as smooth. To cook, you can either toss it in pan or on the grill. I grew up eating pork roll, egg and cheese sandwiches, and it’s also great chopped up in salads and soups. It may not be the best for you, but in moderation it’s certainly worth it. You can totally substitute ham steak, andouille, chorizo or bacon. And, obviously skip the meat altogether to make the salad vegan.😉 Now on to the recipe deets!
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How to Make Jersey-Style Grilled Potato Salad
Now that we have pork roll covered, we don’t want these delicious spuds to be overshadowed! I used yellow new potatoes, which are bigger than baby potatoes yet smaller than butter or Yukon gold potatoes. You don’t want potatoes that are too small and risk falling through the grill grates. If you can’t find the Goldilocks size, just buy some Yukons and cut into two-inch chunks. But before the potatoes hit the grill, give them a head start by parboiling them until just about tender.
Toss them with olive oil, s&p, a sprinkle of fresh herbs and they’re ready for the grill. Parboiling the potatoes first makes the inside super creamy while the grill chars and crisps up the edges.
The pork roll and veggies all get their turn on the fire including the lemons that are used in the dressing. Depending on the size of your rig, you’ll need to manage what all can fit and most likely have to grill everything in a couple batches.
Once everything is off the grill and cool enough to handle, grab your best knife and start chopping. I left things on the chunkier side, but you can dice smaller if you like. Simply combine the potatoes, vegetables and pork roll in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to evenly coat. My herbs are growing beautifully so extra thyme and parsley were sprinkled in as well. This super flavorful Jersey-Style Grilled Potato Salad checks all the delicious boxes and will certainly be on repeat throughout the summer and into fall. Cheers to the long weekend and Happy Fourth!! Stay well, friends! xx, Kim
Looking for more Summer Sides? Here are some of our favorites:
- Grilled Sweet Potato Fries w/ Cherry Corn Salsa
- Peachy Caprese Pancetta Stacks
- Blistered Cherry Tomato & Grape Galette
- Grilled Corn w/ Manchego and Lime
- Baby Potato & Green Bean Salad
- Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad
- Slow Cooker Soda Baked Beans
Jersey-Style Grilled Potato Salad
- 2 ½ pounds small yellow new potatoes about 2 inches long or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 ½- inch slices pork roll, about 12 ounces
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 ears corn, husked
- 1 medium zucchini, halved vertically
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut horizontally in ½-inch thick slices
- 2 lemons, halved (for dressing)
- Olive oil for brushing vegetables
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 lemons, halved and grilled
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon deli or honey mustard
- 2 teaspoons each fresh thyme and parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Season generously with kosher salt.
- Parboil potatoes until a sharp knife meets a little resistance when inserted, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet to cool and allow excess moisture to evaporate.
- If using new potatoes, slice them lengthwise when cool enough to handle.
- Preheat grill* over medium-high to 425 degrees F and make sure grates are clean.
- Place pork roll, vegetables and lemon halves on another large rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush honey on both sides of the pork roll.
- Brush oil on the corn, zucchini, bell pepper and onion slices. Drizzle enough oil over the potatoes and toss to coat. Season vegetables with kosher salt and pepper.
- The corn and pepper will take the longest to cook so get them on the grill first along with the pork roll, zucchini, onion and lemon cut-side down.
- The pork roll, zucchini and onion will take about 4 minutes per side to cook and get nice grill marks. Grill the lemon until charred, 5-7 minutes.
- Roll the corn and bell pepper every few minutes until some kernels and skin of the pepper are charred, about 15 minutes total.
- When the pork roll, zucchini and onion come off the grill, add the potatoes. Grill until charred and crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes total.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl.
- When cool enough to handle, chop the pork roll, zucchini and onion and transfer to bowl with potatoes. Cut the kernels off the cobs, and seed and chop the pepper. Add to the potato mixture.
- Pour just enough dressing over the potato salad to coat well but not saturate. Season with salt and pepper to taste and gently toss.
- Transfer potato salad to a large serving bowl. Garnish with extra thyme and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Squeeze the juice of the grilled lemons into a small bowl or mason jar.
- Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
- Shake or whisk until well combined.
- Dressing can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.
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