Italian Potato Salad is a lightened up twist on traditional potato salad. Red potatoes are coated in peppery olive oil and tossed with crunchy cucumber, tender tomatoes, briny olives and capers, buttery boiled eggs, then spiked with vinegar, oregano and slivers of fresh basil. This Italian style potato salad recipe is easy to assemble and adding a can of good quality tuna makes it a meal!
Recipes are nomads in our home; all but a few stay for a meal and then never return. There are just too many new things to try. Who knows why some recipes decide to stick around, but this salad is one of them. It’s the simple flavors that keep me coming back. With a bit of choreography, each bite can be different: cool, crisp cucumber; sweet, tangy chunks of tomato; briny, oil-cured olives; creamy eggs and salty tuna, fresh basil hinting of licorice and mint.
This salad came from a collectors edition of Bon Appetit, highlighting Islands of the Mediterranean. It was published in 2002 (!) and has floated among my cookbooks ever since.
Typically I boil enough potatoes and eggs to last for 3 or 4 days of this salad. Then at lunch time or for a light dinner, I can assemble the salad in just a few minutes. And just like another one of my favorites, Italian Pasta Salad, it’s portable for a picnic or a weekday lunch at your desk.
Italian Potato Salad
- 2 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes scrubbed
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 english cucumber quartered lengthwise, cut into cubes
- 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
- 1/2 red onion very thinly sliced
- 24 black oil-cured olives pitted, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons salt cured capers rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled, quartered
- 2 6-ounce cans tuna drained (ideally canned in olive oil or its own juice)
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add a small handful of salt. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Cut potatoes into rough, 1-inch cubes and place in a serving bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives, basil, and capers.
- Whisk vinegar and oregano together in small bowl; add to salad and toss lightly to combine.
- With your fingers or a fork, separate tuna in to bite size chunks and sprinkle over salad. Arrange boiled egg quarters over salad. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve.