Celebrate the start of summer with a picnic

This year the summer solstice, which marks the official start of summer, falls on June 21. During this time of year, schedules become lax and meals often occur on-the-fly – and usually outdoors.

When firing up the grill or packing picnic essentials, home chefs should consider which dishes they’ll serve alongside the main course. Of course, no summertime meal would be complete without a tasty potato salad in the mix. This recipe for “Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley” from Allie Lewis Clapp, Lygeia Grace and Candy Gianetti’s “Real Simple: Easy, Delicious Home Cooking” (Time Home Entertainment) offers a tasty take on this classic dish.

Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley

Serves 6

11/2 pounds new potatoes, about 15

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 slices bacon

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Place the potatoes in a pot with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then crumble.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the potatoes, bacon and parsley and toss to combine.

Tip: The potatoes can be cooked and tossed with the dressing and parsley up to 1 day in advance; refrigerate, covered. Bring to room temperature and add the bacon just before serving.

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