Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

A no-mayo potato salad recipe with Sicilian flavors that will have you swooning — bell peppers, red onion, celery, olives, garlic, lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and parsley.


I found this recipe for Mediterranean Grilled Tuna Steaks with Sicilian Style Potato Salad in an old Rachael Ray magazine a few months ago but never got around to making it. Last week I had a surplus of red potatoes and tuna was on sale, so I finally gave it a try.

Expecting the tuna to be the star on the plate, I didn’t give much thought to the potato salad. How exciting could potato salad be? How wrong I was.

I love this recipe and will make it again. With ham. And again. With salami. The next time I bring a potato salad anywhere, this is the one I take. Sorry, Southwestern Potato Salad, you’re delicious and different, but step aside.

Like the Southwestern and Potatoes with Herbs, Spinach & Lemon, this potato salad isn’t mayonnaise-based. Hooray. It’s full of bold flavors. I added yellow and red bell pepper to the original recipe because, yes, you guessed it, I had a few in the frig – one of my discount produce rack finds. While eating the salad, I had a brilliant idea: next time, add prosciutto, salami or some other type of ham, oh yes.

The original recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes in oil. I only had plain sun-dried tomatoes and they worked fine. I couldn’t find anchovy paste in my local market so I smooshed up regular anchovies instead.

You don’t have to stick to the ingredient amounts here. Red onions, peppers and celery ribs vary in size, so use the amounts that look right to you. My celery ribs were huge so I only used two, compared to Rachael’s three. I added the amount of bell pepper that looked right for the amount of potatoes and onion; I think it was about half a yellow and half a red bell pepper.

And what about the tuna? It was really good too. It’s hard to go wrong with lemon and rosemary. I let the tuna sit with its rub while I made the potato salad so that probably helped to deepen the flavor.

Sicilian Potato Salad (with a side of Grilled Tuna)

You’ll need a large pot or saucepan with a lid, small bowl, colander and large bowl.

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes – if in oil, drain them first
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon – if you’re making the tuna, zest the lemon first, then slice it in half for juicing
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 smooshed anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 cup yellow and red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup large black or green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf or Italian parsley, chopped
  •  Option: chopped ham or prosciutto

Place potatoes in the pot and add cold water to cover them. Add salt. Put the lid on the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the potatoes until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, ladle some of the cooking water over the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Let the tomatoes soak for 10 minutes; drain and thinly slice.

Drain the potatoes in a colander when they’re done.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste and garlic. Add the potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, celery, olives, capers and parsley, and toss to combine.

Mediterranean Grilled Tuna Steaks

You’ll need a pan, grill pan or grill.

  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Two 6-ounce tuna steaks
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel – zest the lemon first, then slice it in half for juicing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a pan, grill pan or grill to medium-high. Drizzle olive oil over the tuna, sprinkle with the rosemary and lemon peel and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the tuna for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Serve with the potato salad.

Original recipe: Mediterranean Grilled Tuna Steaks and Sicilian Style Potato Salad, Every Day with Rachael Ray, June/July 2008

3 thoughts on “Sicilian Potato Salad (with a side of Grilled Tuna)

  1. This looks really incredibly.

  2. Looks like a delicious recipe! Sicily is known for outstanding tuna, so this dish would be perfect overlooking the Mediterranean with a nice glass of wine!
    I’m gonna follow on twitter

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