Most of our friends and relatives swap recipes, so we ran into variations of this one in France and Italy; seemingly endless variations are part of the fun. Also, it’s a good warm-weather potato dish, being fairly light. We used various potatoes, Charlotte, Rosevear, new potatoes, all worked well; for small ones, cut them in half or quarters, larger ones should be in 1-inch pieces. They taste better
if left unpeeled. Any of several savory herbs work equally well, as long as they’re fresh—we also had it with sage and with tarragon, and I’ll bet dill would be good too. This is the basic version.
12 small potatoes, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
8 cherry tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 cup black olives (preferably oil-cured),
pitted and finely chopped
2 green onions, chopped (green tops only)
12 leaves basil, torn into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender.
While they’re cooking, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low flame. Add the garlic and tomatoes, stir well, and let them cook for a few minutes, then add the olives and onions, stir well again, and let cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are done, drain them and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add the vegetable mix from the saucepan, and the basil. Add salt and pepper. Stir it all into the potatoes vigorously, breaking the potatoes up as you do, until it’s thoroughly mixed. Cover the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld. Don’t reheat, simply serve warm.