Potatoes and Olives

This morning was like most. I started with the local paper, did the sudoku and read my wife her horoscope. If we have the New York Times I read it, or catch up online. I was unsettled about the obesity leading to autism study from yesterday so I dug a little deeper. Unfortunately, I didn’t get far. It seems that it is a valid study but totally inconclusive. Nevertheless, yet another warning of this growing problem.

What I came across next made my day. The lead article in the New York Times food section was about doctors learning to cook. This may be the most heartening news I have read in weeks. It certainly was far better news than the Mother Jones piece on the Farm Bill.

As you have often read, I rant about the lack of nutrition education in medical schools and the medical community’s responsibility for educating the public about eating right. You could imagine what great news it was to see that there are many people that are thinking in this same direction – most of them doctors. Toques off to them!

I love recipes that are deceptive in their simplicity. I don’t think I have ever tasted a drink more delicious than the perfect Bellini and it is made with two ingredients. My friend Kirk’s pasta with asparagus and prosciutto is among my all time favorite pastas – three ingredients. Cooking great food does not have to be complicated. There is no need to sit in the middle of your kitchen floor crying. That is strictly for the movies. Here is one of the simple delicious ones:


  • 5-6 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and cut in half
  • Coarse Sea Salt or Smoked Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil


  • Large Pan
  • Mandolin (optional)
  • Chef’s Knife
  1. Cut the potatoes very thinly. I use a mandolin on it’s thinnest setting. (Note: You can buy mandolins for around 10 dollars at the grocery store or discount cooking store. Do NOT spend lots of money on this little tool. They are all exactly the same.)
  2. Pit and cut the olives.
  3. Heat a good amount of olive oil in the bottom of the pan, coating the whole bottom.
  4. Add a single layer of potatoes. If you have to do this in more than one pass then do so.
  5. Cook potatoes so they are golden brown on one side before flipping. Keep them moving so they don’t burn.
  6. Once all of the potatoes are cooked, add them back to the pan and add the olives. Just get the olives hot. There is no need to cook them.
  7. Salt and serve.

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