Cypriot-style potato salad made with olives, lemon, mint and olive oil offers a taste of the Mediterranean. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

Now that it’s almost officially summer, chances are you’re dusting off the grill for a cookout. If you’re looking to spruce up your side dishes with a more global focus, consider Yasmin Khan’s lush new book, “Ripe Figs.” It takes readers on a culinary journey through the Mediterranean, with seasonal vegetable-forward dishes from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus that would add flavor to any cookout, picnic or barbecue.

This easy potato salad is a regional specialty of Cyprus. Traditional potato salad is made with mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs, but here, olives, lemon, capers and fresh herbs give it a zesty lift. It’s just as good served with grilled meats or fish and also works well as part of a mezze spread.

The original recipe calls for Cypriot potatoes, or potatoes from Cyprus, which might not be easy to source. You can use baby Yukon gold potatoes instead. Capers add a salty, lemony bite.

However you enjoy the salad — it can be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature — you’ll want to toss the potatoes in the dressing while they’re still warm so they can absorb the flavors.


Servings: 4


2 pounds new potatoes

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

Finely grated zest from 1 medium unwaxed lemon

¼ red onion finely sliced

¹/3 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Peel potatoes or leave the skin on. Cut potatoes into large (2-inch) chunks. (Halved unpeeled baby potatoes are used here.)

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add one teaspoon salt and the potatoes to the pot, and boil for about 12 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and place in a serving bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients, along with a quarter teaspoon salt and a good grind or two of black pepper.

— “Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus” by Yasmin Khan (W.W. Norton, $35)