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Herb Potato Salad

by Tansy Boggon

A light potato salad with a satisfying creamy tanginess from the combination of olive oil, vinegar and herbs.

Potato salad is a favourite side dish that is fulfilling and nourishing.

A classic creamy potato salad is made with mayonnaise. However, it can be high in saturated fat and sodium. A delicious alternative is Greek Yogurt Potato Salad.

Another alternative is a French-style herb potato salad with olive oil and vinegar as the base rather than mayonnaise. While the ingredients can vary, French-style potato salad typically includes potatoes, vinegar and olive oil, fresh herbs like parsley or dill, onion, chives or spring onions, and sometimes capers.

Lower the oil content

The fat content for this herb potato salad has been reduced further by using the potatoes cook water to create moist and tangy potatoes.

At this step, you might think I’ve gone mad and it will never work. But be patient, and you’ll be surprised by how much moisture the potatoes reabsorb and how this creates a delicious creamy coating without the need for excess oil.

This technique allows you to half the oil content from other French-style potato salad recipes. That’s what I found. Let me know in the comments below how you go with this step.

Keep the Skin On

Did you know that one potato contains nearly half (~40 %) of your daily requirement of vitamin C?

But you can lose more than fifty per cent of this vitamin C by peeling your potatoes. So, wherever possible, it’s worth keeping the skin on.

Make it Colourful

It’s often said that we ought to eat a rainbow a day.

And we can paint something of a rainbow with potatoes too!

Potatoes come in a variety of colours; white, yellow, red, pink, purple and orange (sweet potato). The colours contain an array of antioxidants that can reduce cell damage due to oxidative stress. So, adding a colourful variety of potatoes to your plate could help reduce certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. That’s pretty spud-tastic!

Rainbow Potato Salad

In an upcoming children’s book, Radical Spuds, the food characters Chip, Wedge, Fry and Spud reinvent themselves by making a rainbow potato salad, which contains potatoes of many colours. With the below recipe, you too can make your own radical rainbow herb potato salad.

The Superheroes on Your Plate Banner

Choose potatoes of a waxy variety that will hold their shape when cooked. Often the label or supplier will tell you what type of potato is suitable for salads.

You could choose one variety or a medley of potatoes, in white, red and purple potatoes.

The recipe below is the basic recipe. However, there are many additions that can be made to suit your taste or to create a decadent looking potato salad.

Get creative and make your own style of radical rainbow potato salad.

Herb Potato Salad

A light potato salad with a satisfying creamy tanginess from the combination of olive oil, vinegar and herbs.
Makes ~12 half-cup serves, although the number of servings will depend on what it is served with and appetite.
There are many additions you can make to this salad for colour and flavour. Mustard or nutritional yeast are two delicious flavours to combine into the dressing, see notes below.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Salad
Keyword: vegan, dairy-free, egg-free
Servings: 6
Author: Tansy Boggon


  • 1 kg potato cut into bite-size pieces, cubes or thick slices (~ 1 cm thick)
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (~ 4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons your choice of finely chopped parsley, mint, dill or coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Place chopped potatoes and the pinch of salt in cold water in a large saucepan, ensuring the potatoes are completely covered with water.
  • Place saucepan on stovetop and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer, until potatoes can easily be pierced with a knife. The potatoes should slide off the knife easily.
  • Once cooked, drain potatoes in a colander, reserving ½ a cup of the cooking water.
  • Place the still-hot potatoes and the ½ cup of cooking water into a large mixing bowl, and combine with the vinegar and salt. Let it stand to cool, gently stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula that won’t cut into the potatoes. It will appear very watery for a while, but the potatoes will absorb the water with time and reward you with moist and tangy potatoes. Be patient. It can take five to fifteen minutes for the potatoes to absorb the water completely. Alternatively, you can skip this step and double the olive oil in the dressing.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ingredients, especially necessary if you add any of the below dressing additions.
  • Then stir through the potatoes once the potatoes have absorbed the moisture. Note that the herbs are best added immediately before serving, but it is not essential.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled from the fridge in a salad bowl or on a platter.


Optional additions to dressing

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 tablespoons mustard (seeded or Dijon)
  • 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


Optional additions to salad

You may choose to add for flavour or colour (such as a contrast of red) any of the below to your potato salad:
  • ¼ cup capers, to add a salty, briny flavour
  • ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup jarred capsicum, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped gherkins
  • ¼ cup finely sliced or diced celery, to add fibre and a fresh crunch
  • ¼ cup canned corn, to add sweetness
  • ¼ cup finely diced capsicum; green, yellow or red
  • ¼ cup raw or roasted red onion slices


Salad serving suggestions and toppers

Herb potato salad can be served as is or on a bed of lettuce, rocket or spinach.
Toppings or other side elements can be added for variety. For example:
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds to add crunch
  • 4 tablespoons crispy chickpeas to add crunch
  • Radish slices to add bitterness
  • Grilled asparagus or courgette
Alternatively, herb potato salad can be served as a component of a niçoise salad (pronounced nee-swaz), a French main dish comprised of a bed of lettuce, potato salad, boiled egg, green beans, tomatoes, tuna, olives and a tangy dressing.
Hey, this potato salad would also be delicious for a summer barbecue or alongside salmon or burgers.
Over to you to create your own herb potato salad.



Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
It’s a great salad to make up at the beginning of the week and scoop out serves for meals throughout the week.

Get Creative

Share your herb potato salad combinations in the comments below or tag @tansy_joyfuleating on Instagram.

I love seeing your creations and having more ideas to add to this and future recipes.

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