Sicilian Potato Salad with Olives
A Sicilian summer classic. Not potato salad as we, in America know it, this version is richly seasoned, wild with varying textures and yummily perked up with herbs and the freshest hot weather vegetables. I love to serve this salad warm, with the flavors gently combining on the tongue.
Makes 4-5 servings
2 pounds fingerling, purple or new potatoes, 1/2-inch cubes, do not peel
10-12 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 small red onion, finely diced
10-12 green olives, pitted, quartered
10-12 oil-cured black olives, pitted, diced
3-4 tablespoons capers, well drained
2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced, do not peel or seed
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 shallots, finely diced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
3-4 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley, finely minced
2-3 stalks fresh basil, leaves removed, finely diced
1-2 basil sprigs, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and cook until just tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. In the same water, cook the green beans until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain and add to the potatoes. Mix in red onions, olives and capers. Gently fold in tomatoes. Set aside.
To make the dressing, place oil and shallots in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes to soften the shallots. Remove from heat and whisk in balance of ingredients, adding only a light seasoning of salt--remember the salty flavors of the olives and capers. Allow dressing to cool for about 3 minutes before gently tossing it with the potatoes. Serve warm, garnished with whole basil sprigs.