Growing up, I hated potato salad because the only style available was the creamy/goopy/mayo kind. Needless to say I also hated those creamy pasta salads. As an adult, lighter potato salads with bright lemony vinaigrettes appeared on the American landscape, and for the first time I could say I liked potato salads – this fresh style instead of the creamy style. I’m still confused why those mayo potato salads are the default. Oh well, I’ll make the kind of potato salad that I like.
Last spring my vegetarian cooking group cooked a meal from Yasmin Khan’s lovely cookbook Ripe Figs which delves into what refugees in Cyprus, Greece & Turkey are cooking. The lemony potato salad from that meal was a hit. I love lemons and fresh herbs, and the addition of olives and capers adds umami complexity. I’ve made it my own by mixing up the herbs each time and adding garlic confit instead of straight olive oil. Garlic confit is a fun ingredient I make and keep in the fridge to embellish all manner of dishes. You can find my simple recipe here. This potato salad recipe uses both the mellow, soft garlic confit cloves as well as the garlicky oil from the jar.
I recently brought this lemony potato salad with garlic confit to a dinner party and people couldn’t stop asking me about it. I thought you might want to try it as well. If you double the recipe, leftovers can be used in a myriad of ways, from tacos to breakfast hash. Have fun and experiment.
lemony potato salad with garlic confit
1 kg new potatoes
6 cloves of garlic confit, mashed
3 tablespoons oil from garlic confit jar
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/4 red onion, sliced paper thin
1/3 cup kalamata olives or other good quality olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh herbs, trimmed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and trim the new potatoes. Removing the potato skin is optional. Cut into chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water and plenty of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer until they are soft but not falling apart.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. You can mix them directly in the serving bowl then add the potatoes at the end.
Mash the garlic confit in its own oil to make a paste. Add the lemon zest and juice, whisking to make a dressing. Thinly slice the onion as thin as you can. Roughly chop the olives. Wash and trim the herbs. Leave the herbs whole or roughly chop to your liking.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and add to the dressing when the potatoes are still hot so they soak up all of the flavors. Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Enjoy.