Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Garlic Scapes

I’ve been hearing the term “warm salad” being tossed around a lot lately, and feel it might be a new menu buzzword. Perhaps it inspires curiosity, still carries an unlikeliness that hasn’t been as indoctrinated into our culture as, say, “chilled soup.” Sometimes it makes perfect sense (roasted beets, dressed in a light vinaigrette), other times, seems more of a stretch (sorry, sauteed vegetables are just that). I’ve used the term for this dish because of its middle-road temperature. The potatoes are piping-hot and crisp, and when tossed with cool vegetables the combined effect is perfectly warm. It’s the best way to enjoy it, I think.

Summer is definitely here and it’s time to pull out a few picnic staples, like potato salad and coleslaw. But then, so are new potatoes — those plump, tight-skinned tubers just dug from the soil. Rather than muddle them up with lots of mayonnaise, a clear coat of extra-virgin olive oil seemed like a lighter twist. I picked out fingerling potatoes for this version, but any new (or old) potatoes would work fine. They’re roasted in oil until crisp on the bottom, and afterward given a coarse chop, so that they could absorb a bit more.

garlic scapes

Everyone’s been asking what to do with garlic scapes, and I’m looking for more answers to that question, too. I’ve gotten garlic scapes in my CSA share for the past two weeks, so have some reserves of it to see. One of the least fussy solutions is surely just chopping them up raw to season or garnish just about anything. Milder-tasting than garlic cloves, these are the fresh shoots of the same plant. They’re sturdy and solid through, and have a tendency to curlicue which makes them attractive in a vase (if you’re really out of ideas for how to eat them). But they add a zesty, garlicky bite to this salad, and dots of spring color, too.

Lucques olives

I picked up some fancy Lucques olives at the Brooklyn Larder recently, because I was sick of picking my favorites out from mixed olive tubs. These are firm, meaty green olives from France, with a lovely nutty flavor that’s not too intense. Use any olives that strike you, and smash out the pit with the side of a chef’s knife to finely chop.

greenhouse-grown grape tomatoes

Olives and grape tomatoes just go together like a Mediterranean summer to me. Chopped and mixed together, these don’t need any salt, especially if your grape tomatoes are vine-ripened and extra-sweet. I found mine at the Greenmarket, grown in a hothouse though, since the tomatoes outside have some time to ripen yet.

This salad really grew on me with every bite. It’s so bright, juicy and flavorful it inspired standing-at-the-kitchen-sink-eating-up. Hope it does for you as well.

Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Garlic Scapes
(makes 4 servings)

1 lb fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
5-7 firm green olives (such as Lucques), pitted and chopped
1 garlic scape, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat potatoes in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side-down in a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom; flip, and let cook another 2-3 minutes or until soft inside.

Let cool a few minutes. Once potatoes are just cool enough to handle, give them a coarse chop. Toss with the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

Cost Calculator
(for 4 servings)

1 lb fingerling potatoes: $4.00
1 pint grape tomatoes: $4.00
6 Lucques green olives: $1.00
1 garlic scape: $0.30
olive oil, salt, pepper: $0.25

Total: $9.55

Health Factor

Four brownie points: Use this dish instead of heavier potato salads as a side, or make it a simple weeknight meal with the addition of beans or a poached egg on top. It’s filling on its own, with carbs from the potatoes, but the potassium and Vitamin C from them, too (yes, potatoes have Vitamin C). Instead of dousing this dish in extra salts, sugars and fats, the flavors mostly come from the fresh tomatoes, scapes and piquant olives themselves.

Green Factor

Seven maple leaves: It’s a meatless dish with local produce and a little something extra — olives, and olive oil, which are definitely not from the local market. But they do go a long way in flavoring anything you might find from there, summer long. I’m glad that garlic scapes are enjoyed as a food item in themselves, rather than being discarded as a byproduct of garlic cloves — you can find fresh garlic cloves this time of year at farmers’ markets, too, and often they come with their scapes still attached. Look out for them while it’s still spring.

10 Responses

  1. […] Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Garlic Scapes from Cathy Erway at Not Eating Out in NY […]

  2. Liz

    One of my favorite uses for garlic scapes is to chop them finely and mix with mayo. Then make a grilled cheese sandwich with the spread, fresh mozzarella & sage leaves. Yum!

  3. Cathy Erway

    That is a terrific idea, Liz — I bet the little nubs of texture in the mayo is great, too!

  4. Amy

    May I ask which CSA you belong to and if you’ve been satisfied with it? I’m moving to BK next weekend from Queens and have been itching to join one.

    Also I’m taking your dumpling class next month. Super excited!

  5. Krista (kristastes)

    We have scapes in our urban garden right now — they’re fabulous in pesto as well. Keep the ideas coming!

  6. Cathy Erway

    Hi Amy,

    Sure, I’m in the Prospect Lefferts Garden CSA and like it. Have previous been in Crown Heights CSA, also loved it. Most neighborhoods will have one of their own, just look it up on justfood.org!

  7. mumbi

    I love this salad because it is served cold and has an overall “mushy” texture due to the potatoes and tomatoes. It is perfect for summer! I also bought this new topping that is perfect for salads because it is low in calories, but also has a crunchy texture, which would make this salad even more enjoyable because it balances out that mushy texture. I am trying it out soon! Check it out: http://www.onioncrunch.com

  8. Coach boots

    I love this post. Thank you for writing it and sharing your life with all of us!

  9. firma contabilitate

    Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think it is not a very difficult recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.

  10. Haley C

    My mom accidentally bought garlic scape pesto at a farmer’s market recently. It’s really strong, but it’s really great on pasta and I bet it would be great on bread.

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