A tasty French potato salad with boiled eggs, anchovies (or tuna), tomatoes and some crunchy greens. Also perfect as a healthy side or a light meal.
I could eat potato salad all day! But not the mayo-drenched kind. I love the lighter, Mediterranean-style potato salads which are healthy, bright and oh-so-good! Like this Mediterranean potato salad with vegetables which can be eaten not only as a side, but as a light meal too. In this dish, the boiled eggs (soft or hard-boiled, you decide) and the potatoes make this salad very filling and satiating and combined with the rest of the ingredients make for a complete meal.
When making Nicoise salad, David Lebovitz says that we shouldn’t use any kind of cooked vegetables. Others say that you shouldn’t put any vinegar to the dressing and some say that you should use either tuna or anchovies, but never both at the same time. So, should this potato salad be named Nicoise?
For me, it’s the same with Horiatiki (Greek salad). You can make a Horiatiki with just the basic ingredients, but you can also add some extras, depending on what you have in your pantry. I mean, do you use red peppers or only greens? Do you add a barley rusk at the bottom of the bowl to soak up all the juices or not? Another example is the famous Greek baked chicken. Google it and you’ll find recipes that use olives, feta, onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients that are closely related with Greek cuisine. But the thing is that the only oven-baked chicken I know and have eaten while growing up in Crete is the classic, deliciously prepared chicken with potatoes, olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. No feta, no olives, no onions. Nothing else. Should I be upset that so many more different recipes borrow the name “Greek chicken”?
My personal belief is that there’s certainly a point where we have to draw the line, but we can also be a little forgiving when minor deviations happen. I mean, Of course we must try and preserve our traditional dishes in an ever-changing world (after all, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog) but at the same time we must take into consideration that every cuisine is dynamic and constantly evolving throughout the years, something that inevitably affects every recipe. I would love to here your thoughts about this in the comments!
Preparing the potatoes for the salad
First, I will urge you to try and find new potatoes (or baby potatoes) because you can eat them with their skin (no peeling necessary) and they’re also VERY tasty.
Potatoes have the ability to absorb the flavor from the rest of the ingredients they’re cooked with. That’s why they get so tasty in this Greek potato and pea stew. So, for this recipe, give them some extra flavor by adding to the pot salt, sugar, a sliced carrot, an onion, and some garlic cloves. Also, remember to transfer the potatoes in the pot, fill it with cold (room temperature) water and then turn on the heat. That way they cook all the way through without getting too soft on the outside and undercooked in the center.
Nicoise salad dressing
There’s an anchovy fillet in the dressing, it’s not a typo. In some dishes, especially pasta recipes, you can find anchovies that are used as a flavor booster, simply because they’re packed with umami taste. I’ve also heard people using an anchovy fillet to boost the flavor of their bolognese sauce. However, you should use them sparingly. If you use a lot them, the dressing will have a fishy smell. You only need to add just one for that umami flavor. Also, balsamic vinegar is used because it provides some extra sweetness which goes very well with the anchovies and the eggs, but you can also use red wine vinegar.
- New potatoes have great flavor and don’t have to be peeled.
- Boil the potatoes in a pot filled with cold water. Add onion, garlic and enough salt. Add a teaspoon of sugar (the most oft he sugar will be left in the water).
- Toss all the ingredients together with some of the salad dressing, except the eggs. Place the eggs on top of the finished salad and drizzle with the rest of the dressing.
Similar recipes you may like:
- 1 pound (450 grams) new potatoes
- 1 small carrot, sliced
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup green beans (boiled for 5-6 minutes, then rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 8 butter lettuce leaves (or lettuce) chopped
- 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 8-10 anchovy fillets
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup dill or parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 4 boiled eggs, cut in half
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 anchovy fillet
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of sugar
Prepare the potatoes: Transfer the potatoes, the carrot, the onion, the garlic cloves, the salt and the sugar to a pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
Make the dressing: Transfer all the ingredients for the dressing to the bowl fo your blender and blend until smooth.
Make the salad: Transfer the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients for the salad, EXCEPT the eggs, to a large bowl, drizzle with about two thirds of the dressing and mix well. Transfer to a serving plate, arrange the eggs on top and drizzle with the rest of the dressing. Eat!
You can substitute 1 can tuna (drained) for the anchovies.
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