Food

The Freshest Potato Salad

Potato Salad with Soft Green Herbs

Cookout season is officially here, and we want to discuss the real stars of the show: the sides. To continue our month of salads, Ilene Rosen shares how to whip one up with new potatoes, fresh herbs and lemon dressing from her cookbook Saladish. Here’s how she does it…

New Potatoes with Soft Green Herbs
From Ilene Rosen’s Saladish

When spring’s herbs are at their best, don’t mess with them — don’t mince them, don’t chop them, don’t even wash them! Use any combination of whole mint leaves, small dill and/or tarragon sprigs, lovage or celery leaves (torn if large), and long cuts of chives.

Recipe: New Potatoes with Soft Green Herbs
Serves 4

You’ll need:

2 scallions, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 lbs small new potatoes, scrubbed
About 2 cups mixed fresh herbs

To make the dressing, put the scallions in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, add the yogurt and lemon zest and juice, and pulse to combine. With the motor still running, drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, add salted water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a gentle boil. When the potatoes are just tender enough to be pierced through easily with the tip of a sharp knife, 10 to 12 minutes depending on size, drain in a colander.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and transfer to a bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss gently, taking care not to break the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the potatoes cool completely.

When ready to serve, add three-quarters of the herbs, including the lovage (or celery leaves), and the remaining dressing to the potatoes and toss to combine. Shower the salad with the remaining herbs.

Thank you so much, Ilene! Your new cookbook is delicious.

P.S. More recipes, including tomato sandwiches and watermelon salad.

(Excerpted from Saladish by Ilene Rosen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Joseph De Leo. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)

  1. Jennie says...

    If you use a sharp paring knife to test your potatoes, it will go through before they are fully cooked. Use a fork instead, pull them just when they are still tad firm and drape a clean dishtowel over the colander (after draining) so they finish cooking by steaming.

  2. ML says...

    All I can think of is the episode of Black Jeopardy on SNL with “Karen’s Potato Salad” haha

  3. Dee says...

    My favourite side of all time is a pasta salad with diced grilled halloumi, chopped tender baby asparagus and a lemon and olive oil dressing with some zest and seasoning. The best. I spent years serving potato salad at bbqs but now I just put a pile of baby potatoes with oil and dried herbs and seasoning in the oven and serve. No fuss.

  4. Yum… it’s so simple and much healthier to change mayonnaise for yoghurt in so many recipes. Big fan!

  5. This looks so good, I can’t wait to try!

  6. Stephanie says...

    I can’t wait to try this receipe…My Mom’s receipe has been THE GO TO for Evvvvvvvvvvvaaah.🤣🤣🤣

  7. Andrea says...

    I generally like reading and commenting about food, but potato salad quickly veers into heresy for me. I can’t read about people putting herbs in it, or talking smack about mayo. Have to pass on further reading.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha i’d love to try your recipe!

    • Andrea says...

      Doesn’t everyone think THEIR potato salad is the ONLY possible/acceptable potato salad incarnation? In my case, it’s true.

      My Mom’s potato salad consists of: peeled and pressure cooked russet potatoes, hard boiled eggs, very finely cut yellow onion, finely shredded carrot, Hellman’s mayo (yes, Hellman’s), salt and maybe a touch of pepper. Combine, until it tastes like Mom’s love.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! just like mashed potatoes :)

  8. C. says...

    Sounds delicious- love the dressing idea. Anything with citrus, olive oil and herbs is a win with me.

  9. I LOVE the idea of a potato salad with a yogurt-based dressing instead of the typical nasty junk. The herbs look lovely in the photo, just laying on top not chopped or anything, but I wonder if they’d be really annoying to eat like that.

  10. Louise says...

    This looks delicious. Best part: no disgusting mayo.

    • You’re a girl after my own heart, Louise. Mayo gives me the heebie-jeebies, but this recipe sounds like a winner.

  11. Love dill in salads so much!
    I usually am more of a mayo girl, but left it out in a grilled potato salad

  12. Sarah-Jane says...

    This recipe looks great. I can’t wait to try it once our home-grown potatoes are ready (fingers crossed!).

  13. Katherine says...

    Mmm this looks great! Will be trying. Love how much flavour herbs and citrus add, my kitchen favourites.

  14. William says...

    Looks pretty… But c’mon. You have to wash herbs, and I’m not sure big bites of mint and dill are a good thing, and I like them both. I would love to sit down and shred the herbs into a softly cooked potato with a cool, tangy dressing… Like a chilled baked potato. This isn’t going to go over well where “potato salad” shines: picnics, camp outs, potlucks, block parties.

    • AENYC says...

      I thought the same thing! Big mouthfuls of whole-leaved mint? Sounds terrible. Definitely wash and chop those babies before adding them. The dressing sounds delicious though!

  15. Justine says...

    My grandma would always make classic potato salad in the summer, expect add tons of fresh chopped basil. It was delicious. Now you’ve inspired me to make some!

  16. Lesley says...

    The yogurt is appealing!

  17. all clay dc says...

    serious yum!

  18. Julie says...

    I’m trying this for sure, my herb garden is growing like crazy. And potato salad is my favourite.

  19. jeannie says...

    This looks so fresh and dellcious! I love the use of yogurt here. I have only ever used mayo. I bet dill would be a good herb to use, too.

  20. JTA says...

    The freshest potato salad I’ve made is one I’ve adapted from Epicurious’s Lemony Potato Avocado Salad:

    https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lemony-potato-avocado-salad-15207

    This salad calls for the following ingredients:
    3/4 pound small red potatoes (about 6)
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
    3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
    1 firm-ripe California avocado

    But I instead of just chives, I add double the amount of lemon juice and the following mix of herbs:

    1 garlic clove minced
    1 bunch cilantro
    3 tb fresh chives
    1 jalapeno, chopped

    • Blair says...

      Thank you JTA! I’m going to try this for a party tonight. :)

  21. what types of herbs has everyone found that go well in this salad? Rosemary, Thyme, Basil?

    • Avalanche Lake says...

      Hi Kate. I wouldn’t use rosemary or thyme here, because they both need to be chopped up small or cooked. Think of “soft” herbs–parsley, basil, dill would all be classics. I think mint would be really great, and cilantro would add a different flavor profile that could be really interesting.

    • JTA says...

      Chives, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic!

  22. Alexandra says...

    Looks tasty, I will have to try that. Another tasty version with herbs is Ina Garten’s French Potato Salad. Very yummy.

  23. diana says...

    I don’t care if you wash them, but maybe cut them and mix em in- you’re gunna get a mouthful of leaves otherwise! Imagine someone forking into this salad, you’re never gunna get a balanced bite.

    Also, thank you for adding the word “lovage” to my vocabulary.

  24. Kara says...

    I’ll never forget when I first moved to California from the Midwest and talked about having a cookout to my two SF Bay Area-born colleagues, and they said “Cookout? What’s a cookout?” (My response: “what do you mean, what’s a cookout?!?!” haha)

  25. Shelby says...

    The pic of the potato salad reminds me of a meme showing a salad with chunky herbs like this and someone commented that it looked like lawn mower clippings 😂

  26. Kim G says...

    I’m quite luckily married to a chef. The other night he whipped up some potato salad and a bean salad and only used a few ingredients (vinegar is your friend!) It was so heavenly. I love the foods of summer.

  27. Lora says...

    I’ve always made potato salad like this recipe but with spinach instead of herbs (and if it’s just for me a healthy addition of horseradish). I’ll be trying this with the herbs tonight!

    • gfy says...

      ooo, spinach! that sounds great!
      I’d love to try the recipe above as I am always looking for ways to add more fresh herbs to a meal! Also, I can’t believe the meltdowns over the obviously styled-for-a-photo whole leaves…just chop yours at home people, the photo is gorgeous!

  28. Hani says...

    Looks lovely…and I’m definitely going to wash them(the herbs). 🙃🙂🙃🙂

  29. shawn the botanist says...

    Please wash your produce. Just a simple rinse. Otherwise please don’t bring this salad to my parties.

    • Carrie says...

      lol I love it. totally agree