Fresh Sicilian Potato Salad (Insalata Vastasa)

This Sicilian potato salad is a fresh tasting cold salad with large chunks of potatoes, olives, tomatoes, and green beans tossed in a light dressing.  It is simple to make and a great side for many different dishes.

Sicilian potato salad on a platter

When it comes to potato salad, my normal go to is a mayonnaise based one. Why? Well, they are the standard here in the states. It is the type many of us grew up on. What I have found with many potato salads is that, the mayonnaise does the heavy lifting in that you can basically cover anything with it and it will make the salad at the very least, edible. But that’s not what we are going for here.

In this Sicilian potato salad, the ingredients are what shines. Their quality is of the up most importance and whether you decide to make this Sicilian dish with cherry tomatoes or chunks of them. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you use the best tasting ones you can get your hands on. That’s why it is the perfect time to share this particular recipe with you as we head into the summer months.

Sicilian Potato Salad Is…

  • A classic Sicilian potato salad otherwise known as insalata vastasa.
  • Great served at room temperature or chilled.
  • A simple potato salad recipe.
  • Made with creamy Yukon gold potatoes, olives and crisp green beans.
  • A delicious side dish.

Ingredients

Potatoes- I like to use Yukon gold potatoes or baby potatoes for their creamy texture. But you can also use red potatoes if you prefer.

Green Beans- use fresh green beans not canned. 

Olives- I like to use a mixture of green olives and black olives. Castelvetrano for green and Kalamata olives, or Gaeta work best. 

Onion-  Red onion or white onion works nicely in here. Make sure to slice thinly. 

Tomatoes- I like to use any garden fresh tomatoes I have. Fresh cherry tomatoes work especially nice in this salad. You opt to leave cherry whole or slice in halves.

Vinegar- I use white wine vinegar but you can use red wine vinegar as a substitute. 

Olive Oil- I like to use extra virgin olive oil but pure olive oil is fine too. 

Seasoning- I use sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper but table salt and pepper is fine too. 

Herbs- I like to use fresh oregano over dried and flatleaf Italian parsley. Use fresh parsley over dried as well for a delicious fresh herb flavor. 

Directions

Boil potatoes until fork tender in salted water. Strain and allow them to cool. Steam the green bean until lightly cooked but still crisp. Remove them from the steam and place them in cold water to stop them from continuing to cook.

Remove the skins of the potatoes with a paring knife or by peeling with your fingers. Chop into bite sized chunks. Add the potato chunks to a large bowl. Halve the green beans and add them to the bowl. Continue adding the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Place the potato salad into the fridge to chill or serve at room temperature. 

Sicilian potato salad on a platter

Note: The longer the potato salad sits, the more flavorful it gets so this is a great side dish to make ahead. 

Cooking Notes

  • Salting the water you boil the potatoes in will help season them thoroughly.
  • Do not overcook the green beans. You want them bright green and crisp for the salad.
  • The salad is best chilled first before serving and develops more flavor as it sits.

How To Store

Store the salad in an airtight container kept in the fridge. The salad will last up to 5 days. 

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Yield: 6 servings

Fresh Sicilian Potato Salad (Insalata Vestasa)

Sicilian potato salad on a platter

A fresh potato salad with tossed in herbs and a light dressing.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold or new potatoes
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of Kalamata or Gaeta olives
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 1/2 thinly sliced small red onion (or yellow onion works too)
  • 3 cups chopped blanched green beans
  • 3 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp. flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

    1. Boil potatoes until fork tender in salted water.
    2. Strain and allow them to cool.
    3. Steam the green bean until lightly cooked but still crisp.
    4. Remove them from the steam and place them in cold water to stop them from continuing to cook.
    5. Remove the skins of the potatoes with a paring knife or by peeling with your fingers.
    6. Chop into bite sized chunks.
    7. Add the potato chunks to a large bowl.
    8. Halve the green beans and add them to the bowl.
    9. Continue adding the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste.
    10. Place the potato salad into the fridge to chill or serve at room temperature. 

Notes

  • Salting the water you boil the potatoes in will help season them thoroughly.
  • Do not overcook the green beans. You want them bright green and crisp for the salad.
  • The salad is best chilled first before serving and develops more flavor as it sits.

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