Monday, July 25, 2011

French Potato Salad

It is only in the past two years that I learned potato salad is not synonymous with mayonnaise.

Growing up, I detested mayonnaise. I could just handle it in tuna fish salad. I couldn't imagine having it spread across a sandwich.

And I couldn't fathom the fact that my neighbors up the hill coated their pizza with mayonnaise before eating it. Wasn't pizza greasy enough to begin with?

So when I discovered that potato salad could be tossed in a tasty vinaigrette and freshly chopped herbs, I was delighted. My roommate made this salad for a Fourth of July picnic, and after she gave me a taste, I just had to recreate it.

Boiling the potatoes and then steaming them ensured that the potatoes cooked fully without becoming mealy or crumbly. The vinaigrette had a light flavor that was enhanced by the white wine and vegetable broth also coating the potatoes. A quick chop through some fresh herbs brought the whole salad together.

French Potato Salad
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

This potato salad made plenty of potato salad for 8 people. I added a little more of the scallions, dill and parsley than Ina Garten had, and I omitted the basil because it just didn't seem to fit with the other herbs. This salad was delicious warm, at room temperature and chilled overnight.

1 pound small white potatoes
1 pound small red potatoes
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced scallions (both the white and green parts)
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Prepare the potatoes: Drop the white and red potatoes (whole) in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes, allowing them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in half (or quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and vegetable broth. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before continuing.

Dress the potatoes: Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes, stirring to combine. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. This looks really good and because it is Ina's recipe I know it must be good. I have to say, though, that I am a mayonnaise lover; however, I think I would draw the line at pizza.

  2. I hate mayo also, so bring on the French potato salad! This looks so tasty!

  3. mhhh yummy! i absolutely love non-mayonnaise potato salads (in europe, eating mayonnaise at street festivals and bbqs is one of the main causes of food poisoning!).
    this version looks really good, i also like adding pickles, peas and sometimes even julienned cucumber for a super refreshing summer version!

  4. Love this recipe, we make it so often that I have almost forgotten that my growing-up potato salad was laced with mayonnaise. Yours looks so good...and I love that potted plant/herb you have in the photo...isn't that lovely?!

  5. Thanks Kayte! I love it too! It's an herb garden that I got as an end of the year present from one of my students!