Potato and Green Olive Stew (Ragoût d’Olives Vertes)

I discovered this dish in Léone Jaffin’s 150 recettes et mille et un souvenirs d’une juive d’Algérie, where she reports that her Aunt Olga made this delicious stew often for the family. If you find tiny round new potatoes at the market, and like the idea of round potatoes with round olives, you can substitute them here. Parboil them until they are half-cooked and then add them with the olives, along with a bit of water so they will cook through, and cook for about 10 minutes.
April 18, 2016


Serves 6

Warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, and enough water to reach about halfway up the sides of the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Add the olives and cook until the potatoes are tender and the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more black and/or cayenne pepper if needed. Serve hot.

Photo: Leigh Beisch

Excerpted from The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home by Joyce Goldstein. Published by University of California Press.


  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 2/3 cups green olives, cracked and marinated in fresh lemon juice for a few hours
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