Looking for a specific recipe? Search here:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nonna's Potato Salad

I suppose there are as many variations of Potato Salad as there are days in the year if not more.

Simplicity preserves the integrity of each ingredient in this Potato Salad and is prepared the way it has been for generations. You won’t find any  mayonnaise, sour cream or other disguised ingredients since they just don’t have a place in this recipe.  It has accompanied us on many picnics over the years and served as a delicious side dish to many barbeque dinners.

It’s interesting to note that some recipes passed down from generation to generation are quite simple and only require minimal and simple dressings.

It was not so long ago that olive oil was enjoyed from family olive groves, vinegar from a batch of homemade wine whose vintage didn’t quite make the grade and fresh herbs that flourished instead of flower gardens. In past generations, these were staple ingredients of an Italian household, simple and easily available but sufficient to richly enhance the flavours of many home cooked dishes.

It’s not hard to understand why a back yard garden is so important for many Italians of my parent’s generation, instilled into my generation and I sense a drizzle of olive oil flowing through the veins of my children as they carry on the tradition.

I'm an avid watcher of  the cooking channel and often glean a few good tips and recipes from watching but sometimes the preparation of some dishes seem overly complicated.  The availability of ingredients from so many different cultures makes it possible to experiment and always come up with something new. 

The question remains, will it endure the test of time as so many old time recipes have?

Nonna’s Potato Salad

red onion or any other sweet mild onion
olive oil
  1. Cut potatoes into desired size and boil in salted water until tender but still have a bite to them. Cool completely.
  2. Cut cucumber and tomatoes into approximate size of potatoes.
  3. Thinly slice onions.
  4. Combine all ingredients and season with olive oil, oregano and salt. Serve.

Notes Tips and Suggestions

  • Yukon Gold potatoes work well in this recipe; if not available the Russet Variety is also a good choice.
  • Chives make a good alternative to onions.
  • Potatoes can be cooked earlier in the day and left at room temperature then add remaining ingredients before serving.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.


  1. this is such a nice refreshing salad, and yes it would be all you need with a barq. meal, will give this one a try. With the other potato dish I like to put fresh tomatoes in it when the tomatoes start coming in the garden, nothing beats a fresh tomato from the backyard.

  2. Hi Marianne,
    We've been nursing our back yard tomato plants with great care in anticipation for a tasty tomato salad with basil.
    You couldn't be more right, nothing beats a fresh tomato from the backyard!!
    It was at your house that I enjoyed the parsley potatoes cut in small cubes, no tomatoes though, guess it wasn't summer yet...yummy just the same!

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. I love everything about this salad except the potatoes :) Never have been a fan, but the tomatoes, cucumber and onion sure look good. I guess in my books, this would just be: "Nonna's Salad"?

    1. I suppose that if you left out the potatoes it wouldn't be a potato salad and that would bring us right back to the red, green and white theme.

  4. 29 years + 11 monthsJuly 5, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    Also T-27 until Macaron Extravaganza!!!

  5. I'm feeling pressured...better practice.
    Up until a few months ago I had not even heard of a Macaron.
    Will a macaroon do instead?

  6. e, who is starting to salivateJuly 6, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    No macaroons. MacaRON.

    As for practicing, you know my belly is open for business to sample anything you wish to 'test' on me!