Now that it’s almost officially summer, chances are you’re dusting off the grill for a cookout. If you’re looking to spruce up your side dishes with a more global focus, consider Yasmin Khan’s lush new book, “Ripe Figs.” It takes readers on a culinary journey through the Mediterranean, with seasonal vegetable-forward dishes from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus that would add flavor to any cookout, picnic or barbecue.
This easy potato salad is a regional specialty of Cyprus. Traditional potato salad is made with mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs, but here, olives, lemon, capers and fresh herbs give it a zesty lift. It’s just as good served with grilled meats or fish and also works well as part of a mezze spread.
The original recipe calls for Cypriot potatoes, or potatoes from Cyprus — no easy find in Pittsburgh. Instead I used baby Yukon gold potatoes. Capers add a salty, lemony bite.
However you enjoy the salad — it can be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature — you’ll want to toss the potatoes in the dressing while they’re still warm so they can absorb the flavors.
CYPRIOT POTATO SALAD
- 2 pounds new potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- Finely grated zest from 1 medium unwaxed lemon
- 1/4 red onion finely sliced
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel potatoes or leave the skin on. Cut potatoes into large (2-inch) chunks. (I used halved unpeeled baby potatoes.)
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the potatoes to the pot and boil for about 12 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients, along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a good grind or two of black pepper.
— “Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus” by Yasmin Khan (W.W. Norton, $35)