Salatet Batata

Serves: 2-4
Cost: €2.20
Preparation time: ~20 minutes
Calories: 700-350 depending on serving size

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great Friday. I’ve been busy in the kitchen this week – kneading up 3kgs of bread dough. I baked up a loaf and then split the rest into individual bags so I now have 8 loaf-sized bags of bread dough in my freezer – all ready to defrost, prove and bake. It’s a good feeling to know I have a month’s worth of bread in the freezer, and the finished product was very good too. For something which took maybe 40 minutes to make, I’d say I’m pretty pleased with the result!

Do you remember my post from the other day about the abbey? My wife and I were bored the other night so we decided to go for a drive around midnight (yeah, we’re weird like that). I love driving at night – especially in summer. You can wind the window down and take great gulps of the cool night air. There are hardly any other cars on the road and nobody is out walking. You can take it easy. No stress! You can even slow down when going past turnings to crane your neck to see if the road looks interesting, and make a decision about whether or not you want to go down there. There’s no other cars behind you riding up your bumper, honking at you to move the hell out of the way. Countryside night driving is a luxury. Anyway, after visiting a little village called “Milon-la-Chapelle” for no other reason than the fact that it looked quaint I pulled out onto another road and drove past a turning with a signpost denoting the presence of the “original site of the Abbey of Port-Royal-des-Champs”. I had no idea it was accessed by a separate road. There it was though, and a little peek on Google Maps when I got back showed that sure enough, you can see the newer museum, and just south are the grounds with the ruins. Methinks I’ll be making a trip out there soon – in daytime this time though! :)

Tunisian Potato Salad

On to today’s recipe, you might be wondering what on earth it is! It is in fact a potato salad (ha!) but it’s inspired by a Tunisian recipe which was given to me, and so I decided that I may as well give it a fitting name, since I already have a potato salad recipe on my site, and I wouldn’t want to get all confusing now. The original recipe calls only for potato, onion, cumin and olive oil. I tried that and it was fantastic, but I wanted to pad it out a bit – give it a bit more texture, a bit more bite, so I’ve added a few extra things here. I was actually planning on posting this anyway today, but I find the timing rather funny. It happened to coincide with Sawsan’s delightful post on potato salads from not long ago, here. I’ll definitely be trying out her recipe she posted for Cajun Potato Salad soon – in the meantime though, this makes a wonderful meal or accompaniment, and a great alternative to the mayonnaise-drenched dish many people envisage when they think of potato salad. Try it with a twist of lemon juice as well for a bit of extra zing!

Have a great day one and all – enjoy the dish, and your weekend and I’ll be back next week!

Salatet Batata


Tunisian Potato Salad ingredients

  • ~4-5 smallish Potatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 1-2 large Tomatoes
  • 1 Chilli
  • 3 Eggs
  • 4tbsps Olive Oil
  • 3tsps Cumin
  • ~2-4 Merguez sausages
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Start off by bringing two pans of water to the boil. Place the eggs into boil in one and then peel the potatoes, chop into bite-sized chunks and place into the other pan of water. Boil the eggs until hard – about 12 minutes – and the potatoes until they’re just starting to become mushy but not breaking down in structure. While they’re cooking, move on to the second stage.
    Chopping the potatoes
  2. Peel and chop the onion finely and then chop the tomato as well. De-seed and finely slice the chilli and then add all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Add in the cumin, olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper and mix well. Place the merguez under the grill and cook through until done
    Mixing the vegetables with the oil
  3. Peel and chop the eggs and slice the cooked sausages. Strain the potatoes and add into the bowl with all the vegetables. Mix everything well together and serve while the potatoes are still warm. Enjoy!
    Tunisian Potato Salad

    Tunisian Potato Salad


  1. says

    Why I have never thought of mixing merguez and potatoes? Excellent idea! I bet my husband would love it too. The only problem with merguez is that good ones are so difficult to get… Strangely, only one butcher in the nearby France sells great merguez and it’s not my usual butcher (his are not great), so I rarely buy them.

    • says

      Hi Sissi, actually some of the best merguez I *EVER* had in France were from a plain old supermarket. We bought a “cassette” of assorted meat cuts and sausages, designed for barbecues and wrapped the pieces up and froze them and the merguez were absolutely amazing!! I find you can usually get great ones from the halal butchers along rue Clignancourt in Paris, near Jules-Joffrin métro. There’s also a fantastic Tunisian bakery there called “La Rose de Tunisie” which has, I kid you not, about 200 different cakes and pastries and a myriad different types of breads!!

  2. says

    Thank you kindly for the mention Charles :) I really appreciate it
    I was surprized when I saw the email in my inbox..salatet batata is arabic and the title made me smile :)
    I love potato salads and enjoy trying new twists..can’t wait to give this salata a try :)
    I love driving in the quite you can get such an experience at 4 or 5 definetly see the city in a different light

    • says

      Thanks Sawsan – I do love “regular” potato salad too, ones with mayonnaise and the like, but this one was absolutely wonderful. I’m a huge cumin addict… such wonderful spice :)

  3. says

    Hi Charles,

    I’m one of those weird people who are happy to get up very early if there is a long journey and set off whilst it is till dark. It is so peaceful and I love it when the sun starts to come up and then gradually seeing other people moving about…

    Love the salad! I’ll definitely give it a go with some spicy veggie sausages…

  4. says

    I too love the solitude of the wee hours, I’m looking forward to the pics from your daytime excursion. Potato salad is not something we make often but this cumin version sounds intriguing.

  5. says

    It’s been so long since anyone said, “it’s midnight, want to go for a drive?” Enjoy it, Charles, one day you’ll get set in your ways. (that’s a nice way to say old)

    I look forward to the daytime visit photos.

    I’ve never put tomato in a potato salad but this salad sounds great. So does Sawsan’s. :)

    • says

      Thanks Maureen – indeed… it’s not just getting older. General work and family commitments… they all come along and then one day it’s just not possible to do such spontaneous things anymore!

    • says

      Hi Sharyn – yeah, it definitely transforms from simply a side dish to the “main event” once it’s padded out a bit, and not wholly unhealthy additions :)

  6. says

    Speaking of merguez sausage, methinks I didn’t see any in your mise en place picture. :)

    I think a potato salad would be a perfect accompaniment to the chicken fingers I’m going to make this weekend. I’m going to go to your original recipe though since I just got back from the market before I read your post and I’m too tired to go back out shopping.

    I’m also doing a braised beef shank as I saw one recently in some post or other.

    • says

      Hi A_, the braised beef shank sounds good. Do you have a pressure cooker? We got our first one recently and I’m totally won over on those babies now. Cook up a great big hunk of beef in like 20 minutes and by God, it just melts!

  7. says

    I would love to drive around France at any time of the day or night. I love potato salad and I always put eggs in my potato salad too – eggs and potatoes are lovely together. This is a wonderful looking salad Charles and as we’re coming into spring (our salad season) I will try this with some BBQed meat xx

    • says

      Hi Charlie – of course… spring-time is coming up for you. That must be a lovely thought, after winter. If you could get some merguez sausages, you could barbecue those… I bet that would be a lovely meal :)

  8. says

    I’m with you – driving down country road at night in the summer is the best! Open all of the windows and the sunroof and just cruise. Love it, but we don’t do it enough! Great twist on a potato salad! I had never heard of merquez sausage so thanks for the link. Sounds like a great sausage and with the potatoes and tomatoes, I’m sure it’s delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi MJ – I wish my car had a sunroof… they don’t seem so common in cars these days, but it would be lovely.

      I really recommend merguez sausages… when you grill them, rich, red, spice-infused fat oozes out and they’re just amazing!

  9. says

    Hehehe… I like this post :) To be honest when I got it in my email, I thought it was from one of my Arabic speaking bloggers but it was you! :)
    This salad looks great, I like the addition of the sausages, seems like an interesting addition :)

    • says

      Hi Fati – the merguez really make the salad I think (it helps that I adore those things… SO delicious!). Hope you have a chance to give it a try! :)

  10. says

    You’ve really been successful in jazzing up a potato salad Charles. I love that you and your wife are so adventurous! I’m sure that you saw the village in an entirely different light that time of the night. Enjoy the last couple weeks of summer. (We’re off to a cottage for a week…hoping for a break as I’ve been working non-stop the last few weeks.)

    • says

      Hi Barb – the weird part was, we were driving though this little village in complete darkness at 1am or so and as we drove past this house, suddenly a car parked on the road started. It was such a shock… I was being all paranoid and checking my rear-view mirror for some time to make sure some axe murderer wasn’t following us down the road, lol 😀

  11. says

    Charles, what can be better than a good potato salad?! Our teenager is willing to do all chopping, slicing, dicing himself as soon as he hears “potato salad”… :) Another day I told him about it, and he dropped all his computer games, or video games – whatever they are playing this days – and made the entire potato salad himself. As much as I wanted to participate, I kept myself on the distance this time: I wanted to see how he does it on his own. It came out very good, and another meal he can make on his own (first were crepes – because he wanted to learn how to flip it as a chef!, second was pizza).
    How interesting, I’ve never put my bread dough in the freezer. Is it the same after thawing? Now I really want to try…

    • says

      Hi Marina, sorry it took me so long to reply. I was a massive potato salad fiend when I was a kid. Still adore it now 😀

      For the bread – I will write a post about it soon, when I have a bit more time, but yes – in general it comes out excellently. You have to make the dough with ~2x as much yeast because some will be killed from the freezing process. Make the dough as you normally would, with 2x as much yeast. Knead it a lot, allow it to rise once, punch it down, divide it into bags and freeze it. When you want to use it, remove it, and defrost it in your refrigerator. Toss it in a bit of flour to make it manageable and shape it. Let it rise in a warm place for an hour and then bake it as normal. Perfect results! I made 3 kilos of bread dough and divided it into 9 bags – enough for a month. I have 3 bags left in the freezer I think and will definitely be making more soon!

  12. says

    Love the name and how you’ve jazzed up this potato salad. I do have a weakness for potatoes – I made wedges for dinner earlier. I am impressed that you’ve made so much bread dough – I really should start baking my own bread!

    • says

      Thanks BA – love potatoes too… hmm, wedges… you’re making me hungry now! I love baking bread – I’m going to write a post soon on freezing the dough. It helps a lot to make a large quantity in bulk and store it all in the freezer!

  13. says

    I like finding alternatives to the usual mayonnaise potato salads- my teenagers are anti-mayo eaters. I love the flavor combinations in your version and I think my teenagers would too. A little spice too- yum! Take care, BAM

    • says

      Hi Bam – I’m really surprised your teenagers don’t like mayo. I absolutely adore the stuff I’m sorry to say, and always did when I was younger too! Hope you have a chance to give this a try though :)

  14. says

    What a groovy name for potato salad! I don’t eat potato salad much (sometimes sweet potato) but love the addition of sausage and cumin in this version – yum! I too enjoy the feeling of preparing food and having it socked away in the freezer… it’s like a good insurance policy ;-).

    • says

      Hi Kelly – I never tried sweet potato salad before. I always have problems with those things… they seem so…….. “sweet”, but I made some wedges a while back with some spices and they were awesome (actually, did you post a recipe for those? I seem to recall your site inspiring me!) :)

  15. says

    Hey Charles, great post!! Hubs and I are weird like that as well. We even love going out grocery shopping at 2am. Yup, you read it right, 2 AM. As long as we can find a 24/7 store that is.

    Did you know a state in western India calls potatoes ‘batata’? The salad looks awesome. And I love Sawson’s recipes too.

    • says

      Thanks Minnie – I *wish* I could go shopping at 2am… I’m a real night person. Having the option of getting things done at night would be amazing for me. Alas France isn’t a big “night” country. Even the McDonalds on the Champs-Elysées in Paris closes at 2am… seems so early!!

  16. says

    Sighs. I can’t wait to drive by myself when I get my drivers license (On September 15th–fingers crossed). This potato salad looks divinely delicious!

    • says

      Hi Kyleen – long time no see! Good luck for September 15th. Despite being 29 I actually only took my driving license a year and a half ago. I took 3 or 4 lessons when I used to live in England but never really had the motivation to do it before. I’m so pleased I did it now (and I passed both the theory and practical exams first time, in French too!!!) – it’s such a feeling of freedom, jumping in the car and going out into the country somewhere!

    • says

      Hi Veronica – thank you so much! You came along at an unfortunate time because for the next few weeks my “presence” here and on other blogs will be reduced due to some commitments in my life, but I’ll be back with great enthusiasm in a few weeks, and I have some great guest posts lined up too :)

  17. says

    Lol. We’re weird like that too. Whenever we have a babysitter for the night we go on midnight walks, and on occasion we’ll take the kids to “see city lights” at night on a drive downtown. :) I doubt you’ll be bored at midnight for long though. 😉 fabulous potato salad. Very inventive and flavorful. :)

    • says

      Hi Kristy – I used to love taking walks at night with my mother at Christmas time around the neighbourhood. Everyone would be inside watching TV or something and we’d wander around looking at their Christmas decorations. Sadly it’s not something you can really do so well in France – people close the shutters to their homes religiously every night as soon as evening comes so you can’t see any light in the streets. It’s so weird… walking down a street at night is sometimes like walking in some post-apocalyptic world. Not a sound anywhere, no movement… sometimes a cat, and the street lights, but that’s it – maybe a paper bag blowing in the wind, to complete the eerie effect! 😀

  18. says

    When I was younger – before married – I used to love driving at night when I was bored. I go to downtown (SF) on freeway and it’s so nice and calming… So I was surprised to read that from your post. I thought that’s only me! Delicious salad today. Sausages and tomatoes in the potato salad – now that’s a good idea. Also I love the addition of cumin. Looks delicious!

    • says

      Hi Nami – it is so calming isn’t it. During the day I expect people to be driving around so I don’t get annoyed, but when I meet someone at night, like 2am, driving around I get so mad – I’m thinking “what the hell, man – this is my time, my road… go back to bed already!” 😀

  19. says

    I love the name of this salad and I am going to try the addition of cumin sounds delicious. I agree, a nice drive in the evening is so pleasant and soothing. I bet a lot of people feel that way, you just happened to say it out loud, LOL.

    • says

      Thanks Suzi – I love cumin… I think it’s got to be my absolute favourite spice. I’ll always try and sneak it in to any dish I can, lol 😀

  20. says

    Charles.. what an excellent idea to add in cumin and sausage! My son would go crazy for potato salad if only I’d added the sausage to it! I’m entranced by your idea of midnight driving and plan to try this.. even around the side roads of our city this would be fun.. and the stars I’d see!!

  21. Debra says

    I had not heard of that sausage until today. I will make your salad without the sausage. I do love Cumin too. I use it all my Tex-Mex stuff. lol ;P

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