Friday, July 21, 2023

Potato Salad Season: Three Favourites

Potato salad is very personal;
everyone makes theirs differently.
found on

I've always loved a good potato salad. And it still is a family summertime favourite. Doing a Google search, I was somewhat surprised to learn how often potato salad is mentioned when people share their childhood summer memories. An integral part of the family tradition. Every family probably has their favourite version of it. My mom used to make a creamy dilled salad that I loved, and still do – with cooked potatoes, hardboiled eggs, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, in a creamy dill mayo dressing. I do enjoy making potato salad: chopping the potatoes, boiling the eggs, putting the dressing together and pouring it over still warm potatoes. Sampling as I go. 

Today I share two longtime favourites plus a new-to-me French Potato Salad which is declared a new favourite in our household.

Sour Cream Potato Salad

This recipe is based on the traditional mayo dressing with a twist. It became an instant favourite when a work colleague brought it to a staff luncheon years ago. It's the dressing that makes this recipe especially yummy. I love the contrast of the sweet-tart from the vinegar-mustard-brown sugar combo, and the sour cream mixed with the mayo makes it lighter and really creamy.

Salad Ingredients
3/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup chopped green onions
6 cups diced potatoes

4 hard-cooked eggs (Once cooked, separate the yolks and whites.
Chop whites, add to salad. Mash yolks, add to dressing.)

Salad Dressing
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar (or less, if you're watching sugars)
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
salt and pepper, to taste
Mashed eggs yolks (see note under salad ingredients)

Mix dressing ingredients together.

Add to the salad.

The secret to great flavour in this salad is to dice the potatoes
raw and cook in salted water until tender, and to add the dressing
while cooked potatoes are still warm.

Serves 10 - 12 (unless you love it a lot!)

Potato Salad with Mint,
Onion, Capers
'Insalata di Patate Siciliana'
from Sun-Drenched Cuisine (1986)
by Marlena Spieler

This recipe is from a book I bought at a library book sale years ago. At first, I was unsure about using mint in a potato salad, but along with the onion and capers, it really is delicious. Alas, I have no photos of it for you.

I first served it at a long ago Canada Day celebration back in my single days. My housemate and I invited friends for a BBQ; we served salmon which paired nicely with the potato salad. My dear hubby Rick, who was still 'just a friend' at the time, was one of our guests. As you can guess, this recipe has special memories attached to it.
Salad Recipe
6 to 8 medium waxy potatoes, red or white
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) red-wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 ml) dried oregano leaves, crushed between your fingers
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon (5 ml) capers

1 medium tomato, cut into wedges or slices, for garnish

Boil or steam potatoes in their skins.
When cool, remove skins if desired and slice
(1/4 to 1/2 inch (6- to 12-mm) thickness).

Toss with everything except the tomato.
Serve immediately at room temperature, or serve chilled.
Garnish with tomato.

Serves 4 (small portions) 

French Potato Salad

Lorrie from Fabric Paper Thread recently mentioned she made French Potato Salad for a meal. I was intrigued and went in search of a recipe and found one that appealed to me. I made it last night for supper. It was delicious with grilled steaks.

Made with a Dijon vinaigrette, the recipe uses a variety of potatoes—such as purple fingerlings, red potatoes, and Yukon gold—and includes herbs like tarragon, parsley and chives. The author from describes the dish as simple but deeply satisfying. I agree. As you see from the photo, it turned out beautifully and is now added to my 'favourites' collection. You can find the recipe HERE.

Does potato salad feature in your family summertime celebrations? Do you have a favourite version?

Wishing you a beautiful weekend, and
maybe with a little potato salad on the side.

Photo credits:
All salad photos are mine.
Mint photo is by Abdul from Pixabay. 


  1. Potato salad in its simplest version was something my mother always made to have with a green salad. She only added chives to the mayo. I make it with Spring onions and hard boiled eggs, and could eat my way through a whole bowl! I must try the French salad too.

    1. When you mention that you could eat your way through a whole bowl.... oh yes, you and me both! :) The flavours are just so satisfying. Thanks, Barbara, for popping in!

  2. The last recipe from my blog buddy sounds really good. I keep mine simple with plenty of Kraft mayo and spicy mustard. I love it SO much!

    1. Simple recipes are lovely - little fuss but still with that great taste. Mayo and spicy mustard sounds yum!

  3. Nothing says "summertime" like a yummy potato salad! The French version looks and sounds amazing--I'll be trying that out soonest:)

    1. It really is a tasty recipe. I really like the tarragon herb in it - pairs well with the Dijon vinaigrette.
      Thanks, Kathy!

  4. I, too, find it intriguing that potato salad is such a part of summer childhood memories . . . and yet, I can remember having my mom's potato salad at many a summer gathering! Hers includes a little chopped raw onion, Miracle Whip, celery seed, and (the secret ingredient) sugar. Lots of it, I'm afraid. Mom doesn't use a recipe, so it's hard to replicate. I have tried on a few occasions, but mine is never sweet enough. (Yikes!)

    I love that your second recipe holds special memories!

    1. Now that would be an interesting potato salad to try - using the 'secret' ingredient of sugar. I probably would love it too. Does it have a tart-sweet contrast? Thanks, Cheryl, for stopping by. xo

  5. Potato salad is a classic for a good reason - popular with almost everyone. From a old friend I learned that when adding dill pickles to the salad, a few tablespoons of pickle juice adds piquancy.
    I’m glad you tried and liked the French salad. The feasting at home version is the one I used, too, leaving out the tarragon because it’s not a herb I really like.
    We are sitting in a beautiful treed site in northern Ontario and plan to take things easier today after our marathon of driving across the western provinces.
    I’m on my phone so not sure how things will post.

    1. I'm trusting you are enjoying your trip across the country. It's nice that you could check in on your phone while out in the 'wild'. Oh yes, the pickle juice would add a lovely piquancy to a potato salad. And, I do like tarragon so we're loving that French version you suggested. I like tarragon paired with pears too. Thanks for popping in, Lorrie. Happy travels.

  6. I love potato salad, and that one with mint and capers sounds like an interesting one to try. A have a friend from the South who makes the best potato salad I have ever eaten. She says the secret is Duke's mayo. That's a Southern item, but I do believe I've seen it in my local grocery store. Kind of expensive though. But my friend swears by it.

    1. I've noticed other people mentioning Duke's mayo as the 'best'! As far as I know, we don't have that up here in Alberta, but I'll keep an eye out for it, maybe find it online. Thanks, Patti!

  7. I have only made the Better Homes & Garden recipe for 54 years! It's secret is homemade french dressings on the warm potatoes and after sitting awhile add the mayonnaise, etc. I figure why mess with perfection!

    1. I'm with you... once you've found the perfect recipe, don't mess with it. Adding the French dressings on the warm potatoes first and then adding mayo later - that does sound like a great tip. Thanks, Cathy.

  8. Thanks for sharing these delicious sounding recipes, Brenda. Potato salad was not something I enjoyed in my youth, but that has changed! One of the versions I enjoy making involves roasting the potatoes rather than the usual method of boiling. I must say, it makes for a fun twist and is quite yummy!


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