I’ve never been a potato salad fan. American cooks usually submit to the tyranny of the mushy, sticky, mayo-saturated BBQ staple starch because it is easy and everyone knows exactly what to expect. My mom rebelled against this hegemony of picnic food, as she has rebelled against most other things in life, and has passed down her simple, delicious summertime recipe for potato salad. I like this salad because it is made without mayonnaise, which means that hours sitting on a picnic table in the sun won’t make it a food-poisoning suspect. I rarely measure anything, so the measurements below can be interpreted creatively.
Whole baby red potatoes (about 12 or 15, or more or less, depending on how much you want to make)
Kalamata olives (I prefer whole, but pitted is fine as well)
1 bunch of green onions
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, the fruitier the better
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed
Fresh dill, minced finely (not dried!)
Salt and pepper
Ripe cherry tomatoes (optional)
In a large pot, bring the whole, skins-on potatoes to a boil and cook until they are tender and can be punctured easily with a fork. The pot should be filled with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Drain and spread the potatoes out on a plate so they will cool quickly. While the potatoes are cooling chop the green onions (about 4 stalks). When the potatoes have completely cooled down you can slice them into 1 inch pieces, or simply slice them in half. Drizzle with the olive oil and add the garlic and stir gently to incorporate without smashing the potatoes. Add the green onions, olives, dill, feta, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Chill and serve. This salad can be made a day ahead of time and will still taste fantastic.
A note on kalamata olives: I like to use them whole and unpitted instead of pitted and sliced. Why? Because on more than one occasion I have confidently bitten into a “pitted” kalamata olive and nearly chipped a tooth on a pit remnant. Kalamata olives are not easy to pit and I find that if I know what I am dealing with up front my teeth feel a lot safer.