Cooking for Luv: Vegetarian + Vegan Recipes
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Wrinkled Potatoes with Black Olive Crack Sauce

Cooking for Luv Wrinkled Potatoes with Olive Crack Sauce

08 Jun Wrinkled Potatoes with Black Olive Crack Sauce

I first experienced wrinkled potatoes, or Papas Arrugadas, at José Andrés’ Bazaar restaurant in Los Angeles a few years ago, and they absolutely BLEW MY MIND. Something so simple, tender baby boiled potatoes, transformed by a crusty layer of salt on the exterior and an exceptionally tasty sauce. I’ve been making them ever since, but had a next level experience with them on my recent trip to Spain at a tiny restaurant in Barcelona called La Gilda because of what I can only call Crack Sauce. As a person who lives for sauces, dressings, and dips, this little bowl of creamy olive based sauce sitting in a pool of ultra spicy olive oil literally caused me to LICK THE BOWL (one of the perks of traveling alone- nobody to judge you from across the table). The owner wouldn’t tell me what was in it and my only clue was from a stealth server walking by who whispered “start with the olives”. Since I only had it once and the exact flavor profile was left across the ocean, this recipe is my closest attempt to honor this sauce from my taste memory. And even though it’s pretty damn delicious- I still implore them to share their recipe or ship me a tub immediately so I can truly figure unlock its secrets!


Wrinkled Potatoes with Black Olive Crack Sauce
Serves 6
Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 pounds baby potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  2. 1 cup high quality sea salt
Crack Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives (or your favorite high quality black olives in brine)
  2. 1 cup toasted walnuts
  3. 1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon of brine from your olives
  5. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  6. 1/2 tablespoon smoked spanish paprika
  7. 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
Cayenne Oil
  1. 2 tablespoons Spanish Olive oil
  2. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Make your cayenne oil
  1. In a small bowl, combine oil and cayenne and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make your potatoes: (Recipe by José Andrés)
  3. Place the potatoes in a deep, medium-size pot. Add enough water to cover, and then add salt. Potatoes should float in the salted water; if not, add more salt (I know, it's a lot of salt- but not all of it will end up on your potatoes).
  4. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes (depends on the size and type of your potatoes).
  5. Drain water from pot, leaving just enough to cover the bottom. Return pot to low heat and cook, shaking pot until the salt covering the potatoes begins to crystallize, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover pot with a clean kitchen towel until potato skins have wrinkled, about 10 minutes.
Make your olive sauce
  1. While the potatoes are cooking, make your sauce. In a high powered blender, add all crack sauce ingredients and blend until very smooth.
  1. Transfer your sauce to a bowl, drizzle a moat of cayenne oil around the exterior of the sauce (the cayenne pepper will have flavored and colored the oil, but sunk to the bottom- leave that spice mush behind). Serve with a giant plate of hot wrinkled potatoes.
  1. Sauce will keep for about a week in the fridge.
  2. If you are serving it with something less salty, you may want to add some more salt to the dip.
  3. You can also add 1/4 cup feta cheese to the mix for an extra indulgent treat.
cooking for luv
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