Now that I’ve been eating veggie burgers almost every day for three months, in addition to anguishing about them on the subway, and in the shower, and in my dreams, I turned to the “side dishes” section of the cookbook with a great deal of giddiness. You wouldn’t believe how exited I got about potato salad! Yes! Sweet, sweet potato salad!
I obviously wanted something not mayo-based and not yellow. D’Vine Taste, a specialty grocery near-ish to where I live in Brooklyn, makes the most amazing black olive tapenade (many of my dinners over the past eight years have consisted of this on bread; it is unctuous and salty-sweet and sometimes I eat it with my fingers), and that’s what provided the inspiration for this salad. But tapenade isn’t hard to find elsewhere—just be sure to get a smooth puree rather than a chunky one. You also want black olives. And of course you can make your own: just blitz a cup or so of your favorite, pitted olives, thinned out with as much olive oil as you need, in a food processor. The lemon, sherry vinegar, and arugula offset the briny-ness of the olive. And feel free to substitute any variety of potato you have lying around, though I do feel that the sweet potato is crucial.
Black Olive Roasted Potato Salad
Yield: 4 servings
1 sweet potato (approx. 12 oz)
8 oz fingerling or Yukon gold potato (approx. 8 oz)
8 oz red bliss or blue potatoes (approx. 8 oz)
4 T black olive tapenade, divided (see note above)
4 T olive oil, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T sherry vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin half-rings
3 cups loosely packed baby arugula
black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces (it’s not necessary to peel them). Toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive tapenade and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon tapenade, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and salt. Add the red onion and let stand for 10 minutes. Toss with the potatoes and arugula and serve immediately.