Pantesca Salad

By • July 28, 2013 1 Comments

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Author Notes: Pantelleria is a tiny island that lies at the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, just south of Sicily, barely 80 miles
off the coast of Tunisia. It is mountainous and lush with grape vines, olives, and most famously, capers,
the star of the island that grows in abundance everywhere. Pantesca salad is featured on most menus
on the island, where it is eaten either as an antipasto (before the meal) or as a side salad with the meal.
It is worth the effort to seek out large salt-preserved capers, which have a deeper and fuller flavor than
the tiny capers that are more commonly available packed in brine.


Serves 6

  • 4 all purpose potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons seas salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers
  • 1/4 cup halved and pitted Italian black olives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed in cold water for 1 minute
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover and the salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, soak the capers in cold water to wash away their salt, about 5 minutes, drain, rinse and repeat 2 times
  3. Peel the cooled potatoes and cut in quarters. Combine all ingredients, in a large mixing bowl. Toss and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately or may be made earlier in the day before serving and held at room temperature.

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