A combination of homemade mayonnaise, buttery yellow potatoes, and salty olives makes my new recipe for potato salad with olives one of the best I’ve ever had! Tangy, lemony, creamy and oh so yummy!
I write this post in the middle of a blizzard! Third nor’easter in two weeks around here. So far we at least have power, though who knows what the next hours will bring. (First nor’easter knocked out the whole town for days.) I probably should be posting some comfort food right now, but warmer days will come.
A while back we were cooking up some hamburgers and I had everything I needed to make a great potato salad. Except mayonnaise. We had maybe a tablespoon or two in the container, and that was just not enough
And I thought, ugh, I don’t want to go the store right now! Which is when I remembered that I know how to make mayonnaise and it’s easy to do. So I whipped up some homemade lemon mayonnaise, collaborated with the daughter about exactly what I should add to the salad, and mixed it all together.
One taste and I was sold on homemade mayo in my potato salads. It was sooo good!
Another taste and I knew that I loved olives in my potato salad too!
I wanted black olives and the daughter wanted green, so we compromised. Since we both love capers, I added some capers to go with the olives, and there was the base of the salad. A few sliced scallions finish it off – I needed a little spice and some color which scallions provide nicely.
As for the potatoes, I prefer yellow potatoes so that is what I used. Red potatoes or white potatoes would also be great in the salad.
How do you make homemade mayonnaise?
First of all, practice helps. The more you make homemade mayonnaise, aiolis, and other emulsions (like hollandaise) the easier it will be and the more success you will have.
That said, I have some tips:
Use a balloon whisk. The balloon whisk is the fat whisk and it is perfect for whipping egg whites, making whipped cream, and making emulsions. The balloon whisk will keep everything moving, which exactly what you need.
Choose a larger, wider bowl over a smaller, narrower bowl. Part of keeping things moving means having room to move.
Add some liquid at the beginning with the egg yolk. Some liquid – vinegar, lemon juice, or water – helps keep the oil droplets separate and reduces the chance of the mayo breaking. Also, a little liquid gives your mayo a lighter, creamier texture. I usually add a teaspoon or so at the beginning and then more at the end if needs it.
Keep your bowl stable. My favorite emulsion making bowl has a rubber bottom which keeps it in place. Other ideas are to use a damp kitchen towel around the bottom of the bowl, put the bowl into another container, or snag a helper – one to pour and one to whisk.
And, here’s a weird tip, my emulsions started working every time once I started whisking only in the clockwise direction. Maybe it’s the shape of my whisk or how I move in that direction or that picking one direction means I’m mixing everything more. Don’t know! Just thought I’d throw this tip out there since it actually made a huge difference for me.
There you have it! Potato salad with olives, capers, and scallions all topped with yummy homemade mayonnaise.
Now just to wait for some nice weather again so we can cook up some burgers, make potato salad, and sit out on the deck.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Potato Salad with Olives and Capers
- 2 lbs yellow potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- kosher salt
- 1-2 tbsp cider vinegar, or rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 1/3 cup pitted unstuffed green olives, halved
- 3 tbsp capers
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, divided, 1 tsp to start and the rest at the end
- 1/2 cup mixed olive oil and vegetable oil, half and half
- 1 tsp lemon zest, optional
- Fill a large pot with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring them to a boil. Add the kosher salt (about 1-2 tbsp) and reduce the heat to keep the potatoes at a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes. Drain, sprinkle with some cider vinegar and let cool.
- Once the potatoes are just warm, toss them with the olives, capers, and lemon mayonnaise. Top with scallions and either serve immediately or put the salad in the refrigerator to chill.
- Add egg yolk, salt, mustard, and about 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice to a bowl. Whisk together until the egg yolk is fully combined and bright yellow.
- Begin adding the oil, very slowly (think drops) at first and then in a thin, steady stream while whisking constantly. Once all the oil is incorporated, add more lemon juice to taste. Then mix in the lemon zest if you are using it.
- If you are happy with the lemon juice flavor, but think the mayonnaise is too thick, add water by the teaspoon until you have the texture you want.
- If you are not serving the salad right away, keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Also, do not keep the salad in a warm or hot place for more than an hour.
- A wide bowl and a balloon whisk are the best tools for making mayonnaise.
- Goya sells pitted, unstuffed green olives.