A light and delicious potato salad full of wonderful textures and flavours
We went to a lot of picnics when we were kids. In late spring, summer and early fall, when the weather was inviting, our family would spend Saturdays on the mountain. If you’re from Montreal, you know that the mountain refers to Mount Royal. Declared a heritage site by municipal authorities and the Government of Quebec, the mountain covers 10 square kilometers, right in the heart of Montreal.
This vast territory of Mount Royal includes residential areas, education and health-related buildings, vast cemeteries and Mount Royal Park, the crowning jewel of the mountain. Realized by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also helped design New York’s Central Park Mount Royal Park is a haven for cross-country skiers, tobogganers and snowshoe-ers in the winter and in warmer months it is the perfect place for hiking, suntanning, running and, of course, picnicking.
Our family picnics were grand affairs. Not fancy (there was not a cute wicker picnic basket in sight), but large. When we refer to family picnics, we don’t mean our parents, our brother and us. Oh no. Our family picnics included us 5, and dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
They began early in the morning, which was important to secure the many picnic tables we needed to accommodate us all. There was always some debate about the perfect spot; perhaps close to Beaver Lake, or maybe by the children’s park with swings and a metal slide that we still remember as being kind of treacherous. Amid the cacophony of “over here” and “no, over here”, our dad and uncles would be moving picnic tables back and forth until a decision was finally made.
Knowing that our time on the mountain would last until the sun went down, we were well equipped. As our mother and our aunts began prepping the scene, which included laying large worn quilts on the grass (in case anyone wanted to nap), we got settled too.
Bouncing balls, frisbees, badminton rackets and skipping ropes were set out to be used throughout the day. The mountain was safe, and so our parents had no problem with us kids wandering off on our own (never alone however), exploring the trails, meeting up with other kids, and feeding the ducks. And then, when it was time, we all helped set up the food and drinks.
You can probably imagine that there was a lot of food. And not only a lot in terms of quantity, but also in variety. Trays of pastistio, chicken, spanakopites, tyropites, meatballs, rice, and several salads, including this potato salad, were not uncommon.
Some picnics we would also have a barbecue with us, and our dad, or one of our uncles, would grill steaks and souvlaki. Surprisingly, this was not such an odd scene up on the mountain. Sure, you would find some quaint picnics, complete with checkered tablecloths, matching picnic plates and cutlery and between 2 to 4 people eating macaroni salad and sandwiches, but there were plenty of families like ours. Large and boisterous and enjoying every moment of being together.
Recently our parents have been making this potato salad with small new potatoes, which is the way we have presented it here. In our younger years however, whenever they made this potato salad for us, they would use any potatoes they had on hand, by simply cutting them into chunks. We’re not sure why they made the switch, but we’re happy they did. Little potatoes are adorable!
Pin this recipe if you like it!
This potato salad keeps for several days in the refrigerator. Although it can certainly be enjoyed straight from the fridge, or at room temperature, we really do prefer it when it is warm, either after being freshly made or reheated slightly in the microwave.
Looking for some more salad recipes, check these out:
We love hearing from you! If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!, please leave a comment below!
Potato Salad (Πατατοσαλάτα)
- 1000 grams small potatoes
- 1 /2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 275 grams cherry tomatoes
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 green onions
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Wash your potatoes and slice them either in half or in quarters, depending upon the size.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and boil your potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, until a sharp knife slides into them easily.
- While your potatoes are cooking, boil your frozen peas in a small pot of water for approximately 10 - 15 minutes, until they are done.
- While your potatoes and peas are boiling, prepare your other ingredients. Chop your celery and green onions finely and set aside. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
- When your potatoes and peas are ready drain them in a colander. Transfer them to a large bowl and add the rest of your ingredients: the tomatoes, celery, green onions, olives, parsley, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Toss gently, and set aside to cool slightly.