Favorite Summer Sides

A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.
Pat Conroy


Wow, is it summer here or what, a great weekend ahead for Mother’s Day and appropriately there is a herd of people in the stores checking out the grilling equipment for their cooking contribution to Mom’s dinner, don’t forget the side dishes… the whole dinner and serve a nice chilled salad or two to fill out the menu.

I have a couple of old cookbooks that I pull out and keep handy in the kitchen as I am constantly looking for “something new” from these old books from the late 60’s and 70’s.  Mike has a few favorites from each and we have great memories of sitting on the lawn at Wolf Trap sharing a picnic with a tasty bottle of wine, not sure if you can still do this especially bringing in the wine as I am sure things have changed in the park over the past 35 years…always a special time with family and friends.  Easy dinner or picnic side dish, just a bit different and a nice change.

Now one potato salad that Mike loves is a recipe from The New Carry-Out Cuisine, Potato Salad Madagascar a creamy dressed potato salad with green peppercorns and oil-cured olive.  Well, I couldn’t find brined green peppercorns locally and I was out of the oil-cured olives, but I did have quite an assortment of other black, green Greek and Italian olives…I have since ordered the green peppercorns from Amazon and replenished my Italian oil-cured olive supply.  If you don’t care for olive, well, what can I say to that but you are missing out on a great earthy dish for your next cook-out.

This potato salad is easy with not too many ingredients, serve at room temperature or chilled…

Start with about 2 pounds of red potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into  about 1-inch pieces
have ready 1+1/2 cups pitted and halved black olives, oil-cured, kalamata or other Italian/Greek olives
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves


1-2 cloves of crushed and minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons green brined peppercorns drained and crushed (today’s close substitute was a generous few grinds of peppercorn melangé)

Note:  Substitute hint, grind the peppercorn melangé, about 1/2 tablespoon and add to potato salad dressing, Blend the dressing thoroughly add the olives, red onion, and parsley, mix together then add the potatoes, taste and add more pepper if you like.  Keep in mind that the brined peppercorns have a unique flavor and once you taste them in the salad you will be able to use a substitute for an almost tastes like in the salad. Enjoy