Herby Potato Salad—get ready for your party invites
Herby Potato Salad will become your go-to recipe. Years and years ago, when I started getting a bit more adventurous with my cooking, my dad asked me to bring potato salad to the Father’s Day cookout. I decided to get a bit creative and made my own mayonnaise and a version of this Herby Potato Salad. It was, shall we say, a hit.
This is delicious, and it’s something you can pull together in the morning and devour at lunch. It’s based on a classic Ina Garten recipe, and your lucky guests will thank you. As with all things here, we’ve making a smaller batch, but it scales easily (you could even scale it down, using just one large potato).
Practice your homemade mayonnaise technique
Of course, for Ina, store bought is more than fine for the mayo, as it is here, but if you’re looking for practice making mayonnaise, this dressing is a good way to do it, as you’ll be thinning it a bit in order to make the dressing, so you have some wiggle room if yours did not get to fluffy perfection.
It has been a minute since I made mayonnaise, and I need to get back into form. I didn’t get as much oil into my mayo before I had to call it, but it more than worked, especially for dressing. I’m still going to show you how to do it, because whisking mayo by hand will make you feel like you won a cooking show.
Seriously good dressing
The dressing itself is made with mayo (store bought is fine), buttermilk, loads of herbs (I use dill, chives, and parsley, but you do you—tarragon is amazing), shallots, mustards (yes, two kinds). If you want to add celery, go right ahead. I don’t care for raw celery, so I don’t use it.
You’ll have more dressing than you need for a small batch of potato salad, but I don’t think you’re going to mind or have a lack of uses for it.
The potato trick
A mushy potato does not make for good potato salad. Choose a waxy variety, cut into bite-sized chunks, and then boil in salted water until you can insert a fork into it, but still have resistance. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Put the colander on top of the pot you cooked the potatoes in and quickly cover in a tea towel for about 15 minutes to let them steam and finish cooking.
If you drained your potatoes too quickly (it happens), never ye fret. You can just add some water to the bottom of the pot, heat it, and continue to steam the potatoes until they’re cooked enough.
Dress the potatoes while they are still warm
The other trick is to dress the potato salad while the potatoes are still warm. This allows the potatoes to absorb the dressing, which takes an already very good potato salad and makes it truly memorable.
For something different, try roasting it
While we often eat potato salad in the summer, if you’re looking for something different, spread the potato salad out on a baking sheet and roast at 425F until golden brown. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve with leftover dressing.
A couple of notes
If you make the homemade mayonnaise, be aware that you are using raw egg yolks. Be sure to keep the potato salad refrigerated until just before serving.
Looking for recipes without all the jibber jabber? Subscribe!
The Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box has every recipe from the blog, as well as bonus recipes, all in one place and sorted by course. Subscribe today for access! It’s FREE and comes with loads more Wonders & Sundries!
Herby Potato Salad
- 2 yellow potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
- kosher salt
For the Mayonnaise (optional)
- 3 egg yolks* see note below about raw eggs
- ¾ cup oil, either olive or neutral (or a combination)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ lemon, juiced to taste
- kosher salt
For the Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp buttermilk if you are using store-bought mayo, increase to a quarter cup
- 1 ½ tbsp shallots, chopped
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Whole grain mustard
- ½ cup minced herbs (I like dill, parsley, and chives) tarragon is delicious
- kosher salt
Make the Mayonnaise (optional)
- Place a bowl on a non-slip silicone trivet (preferred), or a tea towel and brace the bowl against your stomach. You will need to whisk vigorously one-handed as you add the olive oil, so it's really important to anchor your bowl.NOTE: If it's a cold day, warm the outside of your bowl with hot water and dry quickly before placing on the trivet to help stabilize the emulsion
- Add the egg yolks to the bowl and whisk with a wire whisk until the egg yolks are bubbly
- Starting very slowly (try for a drop at a time), start whisking in the oil. Whisk as fast as you possibly can (it's a workout), incorporating the oil. It is very important to incorporate the oil before adding more (if it's separating, whisk harder and stop adding oil until it's blended). Once the mixer starts to thicken, you can add the oil a bit faster, incorporating it into the mixture. You might not use all of the oil, and it's better to stop than to risk having the mayonnaise break
- Add the mustard and the lemon juice, and then whisk some more. Add a little more oil and whisk in. Your finished mayonnaise might/probably will be thinner than you're used to seeing. That's OK, especially for the potato salad
- Transfer to a jar, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until ready to use
Cook the Potatoes
- In a pot large enough to hold the potatoes and water to cover, add the potatoes and water. Salt very generously. Bring to a boil and cook until you can insert a knife into the potatoes, but you still get resistance. Turn off the heat
- Drain the potatoes into a colander and put the pot back on the burner (heat off). Add the colander on top of the pot, and place a clean tea towel over the colander to allow the potatoes to steam. Leave it 10-20 minutes until the potatoes finish cooking (see note)
Make the Dressing
- While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing by adding all ingredients and mixing. Taste and add kosher salt as needed. Set aside until ready
Make the Herby Potato Salad
- When the potatoes have finished steaming, add the warm potatoes to a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes and mixing. Add half the dressing and mix to combine.Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. If you've made the homemade mayonnaise, do not remove from the refrigerator until just prior to serving*