Kalamata Olives Add A Bright Mediterranean Flair To Potato Salad

One of the many flavorful foods we have to thank Greece for is Kalamata olives. The olives are named after the city where they were originally harvested, which is one of the reasons why Kalamata olives are so unique. If you've ever taken a bite of these dark-purple olives, you know the variety packs a rich and salty punch with slightly fruity notes. You might use them in an authentic Greek salad paired with fresh feta cheese, but its flavor is also why it joins the list of the best ingredients to elevate potato salad.

Kalamata olives are firm, which means they'll hold up to a creamy version of the dish if you prefer douses of mayonnaise. The texture will also contrast with the soft potatoes and firmer vegetables like celery in the dish. Kalamata olives are a bit tangy thanks to the brine they're stored in, so expect a level of tanginess in the potato salad. The olive's saltiness will also pass on to the other ingredients, providing bursts of salty and fruity notes in each bite. One thing to consider is how much salt you use on the batch since these olives are salty on their own so taste as you go to prevent a side dish that's too salty to eat.

Hot to add Kalamata olives to potato salad

When you use Kalamata olives to give potato salad a Mediterranean flair, buy pitted olives at all costs. Whole olives will contain a large pit in the center and require too much fuss to remove those seeds by hand. You might occasionally be served whole Kalamata olives, but when incorporated into a dish like potato salad, you risk someone breaking a tooth. Then there are the various sizes of Kalamata olives, which is really up to you depending on your desired texture. Larger ones, sometimes referred to as colossal, might need to be halved or quartered while smaller ones can be used whole in the dish.

To add the olives to any potato salad recipe, remove them from the jar and drain off any excess brine. Keep them whole or cut them according to your preference, then fold them into the bowl of potato salad with other ingredients like celery, onion, herbs, capers, or hard-boiled eggs. Tasting Table's creamy dill potato salad is a good option to use with Kalamata olives if you like a creamier dish while our French potato salad is a good option if you prefer to skip mayo for olive oil (another Greek culinary delicacy). Or to pay homage to the olives' Mediterranean roots, make a potato salad with crumbled feta cheese, tomatoes, red onions, and bell peppers with or without mayo — just don't forget the pitted Kalamatas.