Potatoes with Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade

I’ve had this recipe on my radar for several weeks.  I’m not eating a lot of potatoes right now so I had to wait for an occasion to share them with a group.  Potluck with the girls last night was the perfect opportunity.  You serve these at room temperature so they’re perfect for a potluck or picnic.  And no mayonnaise so it’s okay if they sit out.

I’ll confess that I’m mostly not a fan of sundried tomatoes.  For this recipe I used the packaged kind that you reconstitute with water instead of the bottled kind with the tomatoes packed in oil.  And I didn’t do all the chopping by hand.  I was short on time so I used the mini chopper instead.  I used roasted garlic instead of raw because I had it.  I left out the cherry tomatoes because I didn’t have them.  I didn’t have white wine vinegar so I used red wine vinegar.  That all seemed to work fine.  I used a mix of small white and red potatoes from the farmers’ market and topped everything off with basil from my garden. 

As with all potato salads you want to use a potato that will hold together well when it’s fully cooked.  I cooked the potatoes whole and then quartered them to reduce my risk of overcooking them.  I tend to overcook them.  As for the tapenade, there are pros and cons to making it in a food processor.  On the pro side it’s fast and it coats the potatoes evenly like a dressing.  On the con side it’s a black dressing so frankly the dish isn’t great to look at.  It’s good to taste, though.  It’s tangy and briny; then starchy and smooth; and finishes with the green and sweet of the basil.  For a pretty simple potato salad the flavors are wonderfully complex.

Near as I can tell it was a hit at potluck.  I’d make it again.  I might add a touch of salt and a touch of lemon zest just to brighten things up.  Definitely worth keeping on your list of things to take to a cookout!

Good? Very good.
Easy? Pretty easy.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Nope.

Potatoes with Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade

Ingredients

2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup oil-packed or reconsituted sun-dried tomato halves, drained
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Cool slightly; cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl; toss with vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cool completely.
Combine tomatoes, olives, basil, oil, and garlic in a small food processor. Process until smooth. Add olive mixture, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to potatoes; toss gently to combine.

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