Flair With A Fare: Spanish potato salad a lighter change of pace

As we head into summer, it’s time to think about all our favourite salads that we will soon be able to enjoy with family and friends.

Potato salads are some of my favourites, and while I often defer to the creamy variety with lots of hard-boiled eggs and mayo, there are times when I want a lighter approach.

An oil and vinegar dressed potato salad is a nice change of pace and this week I’m turning to the Spanish pantry for inspiration.

The dressing is made with sherry vinegar, olive oil and a special type of smoked Spanish paprika. I first encountered this amazing paprika in Barcelona almost 25 years ago. Luckily you can find it at most larger grocery stores, and sherry vinegar has also become mainstream.

The paprika is made from a special type of pepper that is slowly smoked over oak fires for almost two weeks. While the varieties sold in larger stores are the “sweet” variety, there is also a hot version. It’s a great ingredient in Spanish paella and I also like to use it in my summer gazpacho. 



Spanish potato salad

(Serves 6 – 8)

2 lbs. (500 g) small white or red potatoes

1 shallot, finely diced

½ cup (125 ml) pitted and sliced Spanish green olives

½ cup (125 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley

½ red pepper seeded and diced

½ yellow pepper seeded and diced


2 Tbsp. (25 ml) Sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

*½ tsp. (2 ml) smoked paprika

5 tbsp. (65 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender. Drain and let completely cool. Cut in half.  You can also roast your potatoes in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast in a 400 F oven until tender. Let completely cool.

2. Place the potatoes in a bowl with the shallot, olives, parsley and peppers.

3. Make the dressing by combining the vinegar and paprika in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Put the dressing over the potatoes and toss well. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.

5. Transfer to a salad bowl or platter and serve.

*Choose a sweet smoked paprika

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