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A Turkish Potato Salad Recipe: Patates Salatası

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Potato salad – it’s a classic dish, isn’t it?

But never tastes the same wherever you go to eat. Each person who makes it has their own recipe.

And, over our years of living in Turkey, we’re quite comfortable with our own Turkish potato salad recipe after experimenting with different fresh herbs and dressings.

Each time we had potato salad at a friend’s house or at a restaurant, we did our usual of forking through it to see what was included (and omitted).

And now we have our own dish that we’re happy with.

A close up of Turkish Potato Salad with herbs, red peppers and onion.
Our potato salad in late afternoon sunshine

We tend to use our Turkish potato salad as an addition to our meze table. So we’ve got it in our category for meze recipes on the blog.

But, in Turkey, many people also have potato salad as part of the Turkish breakfast table.

You really can’t beat a good potato salad at breakfast time. But, when we first saw it, we remember thinking it was odd…

Until we tried it!

On the Turkish gület cruise we did, the chef did his own version and placed it on the table, one day.

We were so happy to see it…especially when most of the other guests on the boat looked at it with confusion.

They left it well alone. Potatoes with breakfast?

Obviously not for them…and, obviously, more for us!

Halved, boiled new potatoes in their skin, draining in a colander.
Drain your potatoes

Potato salad is a dish we always make after we’ve been to any of the local Fethiye markets and spot a huge pile of baby new potatoes.

We just can’t walk past them, for some reason, as they call out, “Buy me, buy me!”

This happens most often at the Friday village market in Fethiye.

Whilst we usually struggle to find potatoes big enough for our old faithful baked potato recipe at this pazar, baby potatoes abound…sometimes.

(We like the village market because you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get).

Whilst spring is usually the best time to find the baby new potatoes, we have also seen them in winter.

So it’s all about keeping our eyes peeled when we’re browsing the stalls.

Our Turkish Potato Salad Recipe

A lot of recipes you will see are usually for potatoes of any size, peeled and chopped into large chunks.

And when you do this recipe, you can use whatever kind of potatoes you like.

If you’re using starchy potatoes, however, make sure you give them a good soak to get rid of some of the starch.

As we like a small waxy potato, skin left right where it is, our recipe is more of a ‘new potato salad recipe.’

And as we’re in Turkey, let’s make patates salatası...

Chunky Potato Salad in a bowl. Red & green additions make it more colourful.
A colourful recipe

This is a really easy recipe.

When you see Turkish potato salads, if there are any peppers present, they are usually green.

We love a bit of colour – and a bit of savoury sweetness, too, in our lives.

And the contrast between the red and the green of freshly chopped herbs looks so appetising so we always go for red peppers.

Our crisp, green herbs are fresh parsley and fresh dill, which are both roughly chopped.

We also like to add the chilli flakes (hot red pepper flakes) because, as you no doubt know, we love a bit of heat to our food.

And the sumac? That’s a spice commonly used in Turkish cuisine, especially where raw onion is involved.

A splash of deep colour and a dry zesty flavour to go with moist lemon and olive oil dressing.

In the UK, a lot of potato salads have a creamy dressing, often a mayonnaise-based potato salad.

This Turkish recipe has lighter tangy dressing ingredients.

Here’s another little optional interesting addition, too, for this dish.

Many years ago, when we were first invited to a friend’s house for evening meal, one of the meze dishes she put on the table was potato salad.

But it was like one we had never seen before.

Potato salad made with new potatoes and dressed in olive oil and chopped parsley. Served with sliced hard boiled eggs.
It’s common in Turkey to serve your potato salad with hard boiled eggs

Her starchy potatoes were peeled and chopped. Then boiled until soft.

The usual herbs – lemon and oil were present.

But there was also another ingredient we’d never before seen in a potato salad – pieces of chopped egg.

All the ingredients were mixed in together and lightly compressed into a deep bowl.

While we thought it was a bit odd to see this, when we sat down to eat, we both agreed the eggs really worked.

We’ve seen hard-boiled eggs in potato salads many times since then. So it’s become a bit of a norm for us, these days.

As we said, we use new waxy potatoes, so our egg addition is slices of egg on the side. As you can see in the photo above.

This works, too; the sunshine yellow of the egg yolks contributing to the colour mix.

What type of potatoes are best for homemade potato salad?

It’s really down to your own personal preference when it comes to choosing the type of potatoes. What texture are you looking for?

Waxy potatoes hold their shape and have more bite. Starchy potatoes will soak up any dressing you put on there and give you a more creamy texture.

In Turkish potato salads, it’s usually yellow potatoes which are more starchy or waxy baby potatoes (our personal preference).

In the UK, we loved to use Jersey Royals and King Edwards – or the slightly red potatoes, Cyprus.

Can I add extra ingredients to my potato salad?

Turkish potato salads tend not to have too many extra ingredients added.

If you would like to add more colour contrasts, chopped spring onions (green onions) make a nice addition.

You could also go for sweet onions such as red onion rather than white onion. This will also add contrast.

Feel free to explore with fresh herbs. We sometimes use purslane or chopped fresh mint.

How do you serve Turkish potato salad?

Turkish potato salad makes a perfect side dish. It goes really well with grills such as köfte, for example.

Serve it with other meze dishes if you are dining with friends.

In Turkey, potato salad is also a popular dish on the village Turkish breakfast table where yellow potatoes are typically used. Always a crowd pleaser!

Sometimes, it is slightly warm potatoes that are served up, dressed in fresh herbs and oil. Yummy when the oil soaks into the chunks of potato.

Can you make Turkish potato salad ahead of time?

If you want to be prepared and make your potato salad ahead of time, this is possible.

Put the salad in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days. We recommend storing it without the dressing, however, so that the rest of your ingredients stay fresh.

When you are ready to serve your potato salad, allow it to come to room temperature before dressing it.

This is our take on a classic recipe – it’s our Turkish potato salad recipe.

Turkish potato salad with slices of spring onions, red peppers and chopped parsley leaves
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Turkish Potato Salad Recipe (Patates Salatası)

A classic recipe for potato salad that’s perfect for your Turkish meze table.
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Course Meze, Salad
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 240kcal
Author Turkey’s For Life

Ingredients

For The Potato Salad

  • 1 kilogram baby new potatoes unpeeled, scrubbed – larger ones cut in half
  • 1 bunch spring onions trimmed & chopped into small rings
  • 1 red capsicum pepper deseeded & finely chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley finely chopped
  • salt to season

For The Potato Salad Dressing

  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sumac optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add your potatoes.
  • Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes.
  • Do a taste test and if your potatoes are al dente, remove them from the heat, drain and leave to cool.
  • Your potatoes will continue to cook as they cool so don’t leave them boiling until they are soft otherwise, they will break up later.
  • Once cooled, add your potatoes to a large serving bowl and add the onion, peppers & parsley and carefully mix everything together.
  • Now sprinkle the chilli flakes and sumac into your potato salad.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice all over the salad and drizzle the oil.
  • Mix again and serve as part of your meze table or as an accompaniment to meat and fish.

Notes

  • Depending on your preference, other types of potatoes can be used in this recipe for Turkish potato salad. Use two medium-large potatoes if you can’t get baby new potatoes.
  • Sometimes, we use 1 large onion peeled, cut in half and then sliced into half moons if we haven’t got spring onions.
  • Some Turkish potato salad recipes use chopped fresh dill, as well as parsley. If you want to do this, halve the amount of parsley and just use around 1 dessert spoonful of chopped dill as it can be overpowering.
  • Calories per serving are approximate.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal

So there you have it! A simple, but very tasty Turkish potato salad. Afiyet olsun!

Click to browse our complete list of Turkish recipes.

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asim

Saturday 14th of May 2016

thats great cooking man.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 15th of May 2016

Thanks, Asim. Potato salad is one of our favourites. :)

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 27th of March 2011

@ London Caller: It's very easy to make and great to eat in summer when you can't think of anything to make because it's so hot.

London Caller

Sunday 27th of March 2011

It looks pretty easy to make!I should try it one day too.Looks very refreshing.

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 26th of March 2011

@ Taste of Beirut: Maybe it's common in this part of the world. The potato salads we used to make in the UK always had mayo in them.

Taste of Beirut

Saturday 26th of March 2011

I love these new potatoes too and would not have resisted either! this is similar to Lebanese potato salad which is simple too, no mayo no pickles.

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