Mediterranean Potato Salad

How is it that it’s almost Memorial Day already? ‘Splain it to me Lucy! When I was a kid, a week seemed like an eternity. Now, well into middle-agedom, I blink and it’s a new month. One good yawn and we’ve moved from pea shoots to picnic salads.

Speaking of which, picnic salads that is, everyone needs a good potato salad in their picnic repertoire, right? This one fits the bill. It’s sort of a potato salad a la Nicoise. No mayo, the dressing is a mustard vinaigrette; new potatoes are tossed with green beans, roasted red bell peppers, red onion, minced Kalamata olives, parsley and arugula.

Best thing is that you can make it days ahead. The vinaigrette acts as a marinade, the longer the salad sits, the more infused with flavor it becomes.

Mediterranean Potato Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

This recipe makes a large batch of potato salad, perfect for a picnic or potluck. You can easily cut the ingredients in half if you want a more moderate amount of potato salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds small new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Salted water (1 1/2 teaspoons salt for every quart of water) for cooking the potatoes
  • 1 pound of fresh, tender green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups prepped green beans)
  • 3 large roasted red bell peppers*, core removed, flesh cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups, or a 16 ounce jar, drained)
  • 3/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup minced, pitted Kalamata and green olives (mini-chopper works well for this)
  • A large handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • A large handful of fresh baby arugula leaves

 Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or herbes de provence)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

* To roast bell peppers, rub with a little olive oil, place on an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan under a broiler, broil until all sides are completely blackened, turning as needed. Place the blackened bell peppers in a bowl and cover with a plate until they cool. Then peel off the blackened bits. For more details on various methods to roast bell peppers see: Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers.

Method

1 Place whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, an inch above the level of the potatoes. Add salt (1 1/2 teaspoons for every quart of water used). Bring to a simmer on high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the potatoes), until pierced easily with the tines of a fork or a sharp knife. Check frequently for doneness. Once done, drain and place potatoes on a sheet pan to cool. Let cool to room temperature or slightly warm. (You can speed up cooling by placing in the refrigerator if you have space.)

2 While the potatoes are cooking, bring another pot of salted water to a rolling boil (2 quarts of water, 1 Tbsp salt). Add the green beans. Blanch for 4 to 5 minutes, more or less depending on the age and toughness of the beans. Once cooked until tender, drain and place in a bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking.

3 While the potatoes and green beans are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together in a bowl the mustard, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and olive oil.

4 Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them into 3/4-inch to 1-inch bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.

5 To the bowl add the green beans, strips of roasted peppers, red onion, and olives. Toss with the vinaigrette. Let marinate until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, toss with the parsley and arugula.

Can easily make ahead. Lasts several days in the fridge.

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Links:

Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad from For the Love of Cooking

Egg-free Greek Potato Salad from Jeanette's Healthy Living

Green Bean, Potato, and Corn Salad from Love & Lemons

Mediterranean Potato Salad on Simply Recipes

27 Comments

  1. Godwinkr

    This sounds perfect!!! Thanks! I think I even have everything on hand! I might make it with tuna and call it a one-dish dinner for a hot weeknight.

  2. Graham Watkins

    Looks good. However, for extra yumminess, I would suggest the addition of some anchovies.

    • Elise

      Anchovies make everything taste better, don’t they Graham? Well, maybe not ice cream, but everything else!

  3. laura

    Elise – love your recipes and this one looks like a nice change from a mayo-based potato salad. But I have a problem – I *hate* olives. There are a few recipes (on your site and others) where olives seem to play a key role. I’m wondering if you have any substitutions for olives. Sometimes I just leave them out but I am never sure if their salt/bulk/texture was important to the recipe. Thanks so much!

    • Heather

      I’ve used olives as a substitute for Parmesean cheese, so I’m assuming the substitution could work in reverse as well. They have a similar flavor profile, sharp, savory and salty.

    • Jen

      You might want to try marinated artichoke hearts for the olives in that case, or another brined fruit or veggie.

  4. Renee

    Yummy! My family is going to love this! I don’t think I’ll “waste” it on any potluck picnics! ;)

  5. USA Kiwi (Kylee)

    This looks like a great addition to a steak!

    If I had the grill on… I might even throw the green beans, some red peppers and red onion on the grill for salad.
    Look yummy!

  6. earl

    Great, just in time for summer meals!

  7. Kay Bulford

    Hi I love your recipes, thank you for sharing them, as I live in South Africa there are ingredients you sometimes use that are either not available here or perhaps have a diffrent name and I am not aware of what it is.
    In this instance I am refering to arugula, I see it often and on the TV cooking shows I watch but have no idea please be kind and put me out of my misery and tell me what it is or what is similar to it. Thanks Kay

    • Elise

      Hello Kay, another name for arugula is “rocket”. You can skip it in this recipe if you want.

      • Kay

        Hi Elize

        Thank you so much for the information, you have resolved my problem, am so pleased as I absolutely adore Rocket and use if often in my salads.

  8. Catherine McCord

    Look at your gorgeous photography! Love the idea of making this for Memorial Day!!

  9. Annie

    I love your recipes!

    I am not a huge fan of mustard, and I realize that it is usually the main ingredient of a potato salad, but I’m wondering if there is another ingredient you would suggest I add to the vinaigrette or if I should just leave it out all together?

  10. Mary Frances

    This has a great mix of flavors and textures, and looks super easy to serve and enjoy, which really is everything you need for a picnic salad!

  11. Rachel

    This looks so delicious! I love unique potato salads. Thanks Elise!

  12. Kay

    Elise, I enjoy your recipes so much and try them all the time. They are inspirational to me. I usually add or subtract an ingredient depending on if I have it or not, or like it or not (I always like everything). Like a previous poster I think a nice piece of Tuna would be fantastic in this.

    To all those who often ask about substituting – I would say – try it anyway, or just delete something you don’t like or can’t eat. In most cases it won’t change the recipe too much. Except in something like this – potatoes are essential. And in a shrimp dish – use fish or chicken and see how you like it. The dish will be different, but probably just as good! : )

  13. Sandy S

    This recipe is a keeper! Firstly, because I love new potatoes and green beans. Secondly, because I need to swap out mayo more often for health and to wake up my taste buds. And this recipe goes both those places and never looks back! Must tell everyone that I went to the ‘olive bar’ at my local grocery to get the olives for this recipe and saw ‘Roasted Italian Red Peppers’ all sliced and in olive oil, so got some of those, too. Well, they are Hot red peppers! And, guess what? They are yummy in this dish! Will be using them in other recipes in the future, as well. But, certainly will be making this version of ‘potato salad’ again, and again!

    • Elise

      Hi Sandy, I’m so glad you made it, and that it apparently works with Italian hot red peppers too!

      • Sandy S

        This is a fine recipe as a main dish, in my book! Though of course it would be great with any picnic fare, as well. I should have mentioned that I only used a little less than a cup of the ‘hot Italian red peppers’, which was plenty hot for my taste. May do a blend of roasted red bell peppers and the hot Italian red peppers next time to come up with the 2 cups the recipe calls for. Though I know there are some who can take the heat better than I, and would love the hot peppers all the way!!

  14. Jim

    This looks really tasty, I will probably try it. Two modifications I might make are: use just olive oil and herbs for the dressing and add some crumbled feta cheese.

  15. sammy

    This was seriously delicious, and I wish I had made more! I think I’ll add some chickpeas next time for some protein. Really, really good.

  16. reen

    Oooooo, adding chickpeas and feta are both excellent ideas! I’ve stuck with my mother’s tried-and-true potato salad all my life…this is a good excuse to break my habit and mix it up a bit for our next cookout.

  17. Delphine

    I just made this last night, and it was delicious! Lots of flavour, and much better than the traditional mayo-filled potato salads. I followed the recipe to a tee, and there’s no need for modifications – but the idea of added chickpeas to turn it into a (vegan!) main course is a great one!

  18. Lindsey

    Currently making this recipe for a summer BBQ – I really like the combination of veggies but I am regretting the herbs de provence and tarragon. I used fresh tarragon which doesn’t add much, and the lavender in the herbs de provence doesn’t go well with the dish in my opinion. Next time I will stick with dried oregano in the dressing. Otherwise, yummy dish!

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