potato salad with green olive tapenade

potato salad with green olive tapenade

A potato salad with a green olive tapenade made from Zejd’s green cracked souri olives to showcase waxy new potatoes. The new season’s potatoes are a perfect vehicle for absorbing the aromatic flavour of Lebanese green cracked souri olives. As salad potatoes arrive in UK greengrocers and veg boxes, we couldn’t resist this recipe from Claudia Roden’s Med, A Cookbook. A crowd pleasing summer dish quickly made with some store cupboard essentials. 

Tempting as it might be to grab the jar of supermarket-variety pitted olives, you’ll compromise on flavour. Pitting olives is straightforward. With a flat bladed knife, pressing down on the cracked olive releases the pit and the floral aroma. It doesn’t take long, a pleasurable mindful task rewarding your senses with this unique eastern Mediterranean variety. Besides, the pits are worth keeping, washed and dried in the oven, to use as fuel on a BBQ!

Roden suggests using a food processor but it’s just as easy to do it on a wooden board. This way you have more control over the texture, achieving a rougher less homogenous finish. We used Cornish new potatoes, which didn’t need peeling, and most won’t. Mixing the tapenade through when warm will allow the flavours to absorb better. A touch of Aleppo pepper, although optional, is a joyful fleck of colour, giving a kick to this summer salad.

serves 4 as a side dish


500g salad potatoes, scrubbed or peeled
70g  Zejd green cracked souri olives, pitted,  
3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, 
1 tbsp capers, squeezed of brine
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or verjus
3 tbsp Zejd’s extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
salt and pepper
15g flat leaf parsley, leaves finely sliced 
Aleppo pepper to garnish (optional)


  1. Scrub the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. If the potatoes have tough skins, they can be peeled off after boiling.
  2. Put the pitted olives, anchovy fillets, capers, wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until you have a rough consistency, but not too smooth. Alternatively, crush the garlic with salt in a pestle and mortar, and then add the anchovies. Mix until well blended, then add the roughly chopped olives, capers with the vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper. Taste and check for seasoning. 
  3. Tip in to a bowl big enough to mix the potatoes in. Add most of the parsley leaves and combine. 
  4. Drain the potatoes and cut into quarters, or halves if small. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then add the tapenade mixture.  Stir carefully not to break up the potatoes. Then sprinkle the remaining parsley on top with a pinch of Aleppo pepper if using. 

For a summer lunch, serve alongside smoked mackerel or smoked trout. 

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