Italian Potato Salad With Wild Fennel, Capers, and Olives

June 10, 2020 Updated: June 10, 2020

Italian Potato Salad With Wild Fennel, Capers, and Olives

Italians love to eat potato salad during the summer, and they are usually dressed with an abundance of chopped fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil.

For my potato salads, though, I like to give the opportunity to a single aromatic herb to shine through. In this case, I’m using wild fennel, teamed up with capers and Taggiasche olives to enhance the Mediterranean vibe of the dish.

If you can’t get your hands on wild fennel, try chives, or the most classic option of parsley. If picked when still  young and tender, parsley might surprise you with its fresh, green flavor. 

If, on the other hand, you do find wild fennel but it’s too far into the season, and the fronds have become too dry and woody, pick the flowers to use instead. The yellow flower heads look like delicate umbrellas, and are just as aromatic.

Serves 4

  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • 1 bunch wild fennel fronds
  • 2 tablespoons Taggiasche olives, or kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the potatoes to remove any remaining dirt. Put them in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Cook the potatoes over medium heat until you can easily pierce them with the tip of a knife. Start checking about 15 minutes after the water starts to boil.

In the meantime, finely chop the wild fennel and set it aside.

When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them, rinse them quickly under cold water, and peel them immediately.

Collect the potatoes in a bowl and dress them immediately, while they are still hot, with the chopped wild fennel, capers, olives, extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Stir well, and don’t worry if the potatoes get a little bruised; this will only help the seasoning soak through.

Let the potatoes rest on the counter for at least half an hour, allowing enough time for all the dressing ingredients to meld together. Serve warm or cold, as a side dish or a main course.