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My husband’s name is Jay, and there are a few foods he dislikes with a passion: pickles, bell pepper (especially green bell peppers), and green olives. Well, this potato salad has quite a bit of all three of those ingredients. Thus, the name went from what I called it, “1970s Potato Salad” or “Old Fashioned Potato Salad with Green Olives” to the name that has stuck: “Jay’s Nemesis Potato Salad.”

I have memories of my aunt making this potato salad in the 1970s, but she used peeled russet potatoes. Otherwise, this potato salad is straight from my memory banks, and it was my first introduction to green olives. I didn’t like yellow mustard, onions, or green olives as a child. But, I did like this curious combination enough to always have a few spoonfuls. Today, it’s the nostalgic potato salad of my youth with all those ingredients that I learned to like with age.

This is a classic picnic potato salad. That zing of vinegar and yellow mustard makes your burgers and hotdogs taste that much better. Even potato chips taste better with this on the plate.

Call it ‘1970s Potato Salad’ or ‘Old Fashioned Potato Salad with Green Olives,’ or call it what we call it, ‘Jay’s Nemesis Potato Salad.’

Classic Potato Salad with Green Olives

There is no need to garnish with hard-boiled eggs if you’d rather not. If you aren’t using them, reduce the recipe to just four hard-boiled eggs.

But, this potato salad definitely has its haters, like my husband, Jay.


Jay's Nemesis Potato Salad

Liza GravesLiza Graves
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Side Dish, Appetizer or Side, Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 369 kcal


  • 2 pounds small yellow potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives with pimentos
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet gherkins
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 6 hard boiled eggs


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs yellow mustard
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs green olive juice (from the jar with the green olives used in this potato salad recipe)
  • 1 tbs Lawry's seasoning salt
  • 1 tbs ground black pepper


  • Cook two pounds of baby yellow potatoes in a large pot of well-salted water. Boil for 10-15 minutes, waiting until the potatoes can be pierced easily by a fork, but aren't too soft.
  • Drain potatoes with a colander and let dry for a couple minutes.
  • Place potatoes in a bowl and slowly pour 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar over them. Stir potatoes to allow vinegar to get on all of them. Set potatoes aside for at least 10 minutes before stirring in the chopped vegetables and dressing.
  • Chop up all vegetables, parsley, gherkins, and olives. For the gherkins, I count out 10 and that's approximately a 1/2 cup. For olives, I count out 12 and that's approximately a 1/2 cup as well.
  • Set chopped vegetables aside to mix in with potatoes later.
  • For Dressing: combine a 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp yellow mustard, 1 tbsp olive juice (from the jar that the green olives are in), a large pinch of salt, and a large pinch of black pepper.
  • Combine dressing with chopped vegetables and chopped eggs.
  • Add potatoes to the mixture.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Stir before serving and garnish with parsley, hard-boiled eggs, and green olives.


Serving: 0.75CupsCalories: 369kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 8gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 1323mgPotassium: 626mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 614IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg
Keyword comfort food
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This recipe can easily be made 48 hours in advance. Just stir it before serving and add garnishes right before you place it on the table.

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