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Sitto’s Batata Salata
my grandmother’s Lebanese potato salad

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Lebanese people love potatoes—so much so that when my grandmother visited us many years ago, she included potatoes in almost every meal she cooked! My mother and I have carried on the tradition, and we love making Batata Salata (potato salad). Unlike many American potato salads, this one contains no mayonnaise—just fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of olive oil.



6 gold “creamer” (small size) potatoes 6 red “creamer” (small size) potatoes

6 purple (small size) potatoes

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 scallions, ends trimmed, green and white parts thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh chives, finely sliced

1⁄2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, sliced into thin strips


6 garlic cloves

Pinch of sea salt, plus more as needed

1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put the gold and red potatoes in a large pot with cold water to cover and place over high heat, leaving the pot uncovered. Put the purple potatoes in a separate medium pot, so that their natural color does not dye the other potato varieties. Cover with cold water and place over high heat, uncovered. When both pots come to a rolling boil, immediately reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes just until they are fork-tender; do not overcook!


Drain the potatoes and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.


Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Mash the garlic cloves and the pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until it forms a smooth paste. Slowly stream in the olive oil and lemon juice and whisk or stir vigorously until all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside.


Once the potatoes have cooled slightly but are still warm, remove the skins using a small, sharp knife, then slice the potatoes into quarters. Place in a large mixing bowl, and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and thoroughly toss to coat entirely.


Sprinkle the scallions, chives, parsley, and mint over the potatoes, taste and season with additional salt, if needed. Serve warm immediately, or make ahead, chill and serve cold.

TABOULIE TIP! The potatoes will better absorb the dressing when they are still warm, so do not let them cool completely.

Copyright 2017 by Julie Ann Sageer in Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin. All Rights Reserved.

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