French Potato Salad has vinaigrette instead of mayo and lots of fresh herbs. It’s simple and light and a perfect side dish for summer.
I discovered French potato salad decades ago in my first Julia Child cookbook: The Way To Cook. I immediately loved the concept of a light potato salad with no mayo and lots of fresh herbs. I agree with Julia Child when she writes: “There’s hardly a soul alive, especially including me, who doesn’t love potato salad in one form or another.” Julia goes on to say that French potato salad is her all-time favorite. I’m a huge fan too.
How to make French Potato Salad
The beauty of this salad is in its simplicity. Russet potatoes are thinly sliced, boiled to perfect tender doneness, steeped in wine, and then dressed with a Dijon vinaigrette and fresh herbs. This recipe calls for parsley and scallions, but feel free to substitute your favorite herbs or whatever’s in your fridge or growing in your garden. Shallots, tarragon, chervil, basil, chives or a combination of herbs will all work beautifully in this dish.
How to Serve it!
French potato salad tastes great warm, cold or at room temperature. It’s perfect for backyard barbecues and it also travels well if you want to pack it up for a picnic or a potluck.
- Serve it with anything grilled. French potato salad is a great side dish for burgers, chicken, steak or fish.
- Serve it as part of a Nicoise salad. Classic nicoise salad includes tuna, hard boiled eggs, green beans, olives and boiled or steamed potatoes and is even more delicious with French potato salad as the potato component.
- For an elegant summer meal or when you’re cooking light, French potato salad is the way to go. It’s perfect with salmon, baby lamb chops or chicken paillard, dishes that might be overpowered by heavier mayo-dressed potato salads.
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Here’s the French Potato Salad Recipe. If you try this recipe, I hope you’ll come back to leave a rating and comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
French Potato Salad
A light, flavorful mayo-free potato salad, dressed with dijon vinaigrette, scallions and fresh herbs.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: boil
- Cuisine: French
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (3 large potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons potato-cooking water
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine (Dry Vermouth works well too)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons finely minced scallions (white and green parts)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley leaves or other fresh herbs
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground white or black pepper
- Fill a large pot halfway with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Peel one potato. Slice it crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices, dropping slices into the water as you go, to prevent discoloration. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat, reduce to low and cook the potatoes until they are just tender, 3-5 minutes, checking every minute or so. They should be tender enough to easily pierce with a fork but not too soft that they fall apart easily.
- Before you drain the potatoes, scoop out about 1/2 cup of potato cooking water and set it aside.
- Drain potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. While they’re hot, add the wine and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Toss them gently with a rubber spatula. Let them cool for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, allowing liquids to absorb.
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, scallions, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Serve the potato salad warm or at room temperature or cover it and chill it until ready to serve. It’s delicious at any temperature.
- Can be made up to two days ahead, kept covered in the fridge.
Keywords: potato salad no mayo, herbed potato salad
This recipe first appeared on Panning The Globe in August 2014. The recipe has exactly the same ingredients but includes some clarifying instructions, and the post has been updated with more pertinent information and new photos.