Thursday, August 2, 2012

Purple Potato Salad with Kalamata Olives and Smoked Paprika Dressing

This is the time of year when an onslaught of recipes featuring an overload of garden-grown zucchini hits the Internet as bloggers, gardeners, and cooks frantically try to use up their crop.

I don't have that problem.

Nope.  My two zucchini plants produce (slowly) just the right amount of fruits for the two of us, sometimes a bit more but nothing alarming.  Nothing I can't deal with.

Freshly dug garden potatoes

My problem is a plethora of purple potatoes.

Purple Majestic potatoes

Of the white, red and purple potatoes that I planted last spring, the purples are the most prolific yielding  more than 20 pounds to date, from 'creamer' size to fist size, with more still in the ground.

I have no idea how I'm going to use them all.

The thing about these purple potatoes?  The variety I planted, Purple Majesty which are purple all the way through to their hearts, are loaded with antioxidants.  Look it up.  In the potato world that means healthy.

Thank heavens.

(Of course, healthy only goes so far:  If you slather your potatoes with oodles of butter and sour cream all bets are off.  Just sayin'.)

One way to use up a quantity of potatoes is to make potato salad.  So when the call went out last week for a pot luck dinner, with the host craving potato salad, three of us complied.  All were delicious.  Mine was purple.

I wanted to play with flavors that would be as unusual as a purple potato salad is unusual so I tossed them with ingredients that are in my standard vinaigrette dressing, using mayonnaise instead of olive oil, and added smoked paprika because the smoked pepper spread that I made from Lydia's post , and which is slathered on the avocado and tomato sandwich that you see in the top photo, was so good (I've made it twice already) that I've had smoked paprika on the brain.

This was good.  Rather adult.  The kalamatas added to the Mediterranean bent and I was quite pleased with the results.

Purple Potato Salad with Kalamata Olives and Smoked Paprika Dressing
Christine's original recipe
serves 6

  • 1 pound (or so) purple potatoes, skins on or off to your liking, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (I used Pimenton de la Vera dulce)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt for the pot
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste to finish the dish

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the kosher salt. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Cook until you can pierce the potatoes with a knife. If you overcook these they will begin to fall apart which, as you can see from the photos, they tend to do anyway.
When done, immediately pour the potatoes into a colander and allow them to drain for several minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, golden balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and smoked paprika until well  blended.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, add the chopped kalamatas and one half of the dressing and toss gently.  Add more dressing if needed until the salad is the consistency you like and tastes well dressed.  (I say this because tastes vary and it's better to start off on the conservative side with the dressing.)
Adjust seasonings with the sea salt and pepper if desired.
Can be served immediately or chilled if not using right away.


Copyright 2005-2012, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Those are beautiful potatoes, Christine. I've always thought - and I've said this before - that potato salad is one of those "blank canvas" dishes that you can do a lot of things with. The blank canvas just got prettier! Really a stunning post!


  2. I believe I would eat almost anything that color! But with the addition of olives, mustard and smoked paprika (brilliant!), I'm in, absolutely.

  3. I believe I would eat almost anything that color! But with the addition of olives, mustard and smoked paprika (brilliant!), I'm in, absolutely.

  4. I've never seen purple potatoes before! Love it! Love your recipe, too!

  5. I bought red potatoes at the farm market today. Not sure what will happen yet, but this post made me hungry.

  6. Purple potato salad.... gorgeous! I've never seen them here. I'll check out the big vegetable store. I'm not sure what to do with excess potatoes... Zucchini I freeze. Could you make fries and freeze them? Or purple potato soup.... pureed...

  7. That's a nice little treasure you've got there.

  8. Thanks so much for all your comments, my friends. Katie, I have tried pureed potato soup with these and it is definitely not photogenic. :) But I'll keep trying.

  9. I rarely see anything so exotic as purple potatoes in my neck of the woods but, if I did, I'd probably have made something quite similar to your dish. The smoked paprika is a nice touch. I really like smoked paprika.


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