As Jane Brody wrote about the original version of this recipe in her Good Food Book, Middle Easterners don’t really eat anything along the lines of our potato salad, but if they did, it might taste like this. Of course, she wrote that a long time ago, so for all we know, they may have adopted the tradition by now.
This dish is very convenient for picnics, because it contains no mayonnaise to worry about. Its creaminess comes from sour cream and yogurt, which along with the mint and vegetables make it refreshing for summer meals. The warm spices balance everything out. I’ve made only minor changes.
Middle Eastern Potato Salad
about 6 servings
2 # small to medium red potatoes, skins on, steamed or boiled
5 green onions
2 T. minced fresh parsley
2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves
Paprika for garnish
2/3 c. sour cream
1/3 c. yogurt (or you can use all yogurt, or any proportion of the two ingredients.)
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves or 3/4-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Add the potatoes to the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Taste and add more salt or seasoning as desired. (At this point I often refrigerate the salad several hours or overnight.)
Within an hour or two of serving, chop the mint, parsley and onion, and gently mix about half of it into the potatoes. Arrange the potatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle the rest of the vegetables on top, and then sprinkle on some paprika if desired. Be sure to take the salad out of the refrigerator a little while before serving so that it is not too cold to taste all the flavors.
I usually make a triple batch, which amounts to a little more than a gallon of salad. If you make the smaller amount it may not be necessary to mix some greens into the potatoes; they could all go on top.
Thanks to Lorrie who asked her readers about their favorite picnic foods, because she reminded me that I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a long time.