Here is a salad that has always been one of the staple food in my mother’s feasts. Or how I remember it. Because apparently she also puts tomatoes, but this very much green and yellow colours were always the only version I remembered, so I made it like that, providing a little hint of red with chili pepper flakes.
In Turkey, among housewives mostly, at least it used to be like that, there is a type of gathering called “gün” (Turkish word for “day”). I explained what this gatherings were like in my couscous salad recipe here. I also wrote how shy my mother was always and some more details about those gatherings in my life. Just like that couscous salad, this potato salad has always been something my mother would prefer to serve for her guests no matter what.
For me, the interesting thing about this recipe is how boiled and only boiled potatoes work in it. I am not the biggest fan of boiled potato to be honest, I find it quite dull and it reminds me of those times in my childhood when I was sick and my stomach couldn’t handle anything but boiled potato.
And yet, I tried this recipe with baked potatoes (my favourite) and I once tried someone else’s version with fried potatoes, and none of them really worked. The boiled potato is the juiciest and softest to work together with all those green, fresh ingredients, especially lettuce (or whatever green leaves you are using).
You can make this salad with any green salad you prefer and love. You can buy ready washed and cut salad leaves too if you like. Just try not to pick something with too strong taste like rucola. And if you want to use those ready salad mix packages, try to find one with greens only – nothing with dark, different colour leaves (that is of course if you are as obsessive as I am regarding colours in the salad!!).
One last thing is about onion: in the original version of this recipe, onion is raw – it is cut in thin strips and is just mixed with the rest. However, my poor stomach cannot handle raw onion. I also found out that there are many people out there like me who are sensitive to raw onion, so I just quickly sautéed onions with olive oil in this recipe, just to take the hardest effect of it away. But if you like raw onion and have no problem with it, then you can make it as the original version, it’s up to you. Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
10-12 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-size cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced (or you can put thinly sliced onions, just read the last paragraph above)
150 gr. lettuce or other greens you prefer (again, read above for details)
5-6 thin or 3-4 thick spring onions, sliced very thinly
2 banana pepper, or green pepper, or paprika, sliced very thinly*
salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chili pepper flakes, plus a bit more to spread on top before serving (this makes the salad quite spicy, you can use less/more depending on your spice level preference)
*I use banana pepper that I find in ethnic markets like Hauler in Kaisaniemi or Alanya Market in Itäkeskus. This is because banana pepper has very thin skin and is more pleasant to eat raw in salads, especially in this one. Even if you don’t find this kind of pepper specifically, try to use another kind of green pepper that does not have very thick skin (bell peppers in regular markets for example, which are huge, are quite thick for my taste).
1. Put the potatoes in pan and cover with water. Boil the potatoes until they are soft but not too soft (they should keep their shape in the salad and not get mashed). When they are boiled, strain the water and put aside to cool down.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium high heat for about half a minute. Add onions and sautéed the onions until they are translucent. (Alternatively, you can leave the onions raw as I explained above again and again!)(Oh and there are no photos of this phase because the photos were too blurry to put unfortunately.)
3. Cut the green salad and put in a salad or mixing bowl. As you will see in later photos, I had to switch to a bigger bowl later on to be able to mix all the ingredients easily so plan accordingly.
4. Add spring onions, green peppers, sautéed and cooled onions and cooled potatoes and mix.
5. Add salt according to your taste, lemon juice and vinegar and continue mixing.
6. Finally, add chili pepper flakes and mix one more time. Spread a bit more chili pepper flakes on top before serving. Enjoy!