Simple Potato Salad Recipe

No barbecue is complete without a bowl of delicious potato (or pasta) salad on the picnic table. Potato salad is a dish that’s typically made from boiled potatoes, sometimes- chopped veggies—like onions or celery—and some sort of creamy dressing that’s usually mayonnaise- or vinegar-based. This recipe is simple with few ingredients. The tarragon and chives in the creamy dressing gives this potato salad a unique flavor. It is still mild in nature and complements any meal. Add this potato salad recipe to your list of summer must makes! 

Simple Potato Salad Tarragon and Chives in a bowl

Tarragon and Chive flavors

In case you aren’t familiar with these herbs:

TARRAGON:

Tarragon is widely used in classic French cooking, particularly as part of the “fine herbes” blend, in béarnaise sauce, as well as with chicken, fish, and vegetables. Since the leaves are so tender, they can be mixed in with other greens for salads or sprinkled over a finished dish much like parsley. Tarragon has an anise almost licorice flavor. 

Substitutions for Tarragon: Other green herbs like chervil, basil, and fennel seed also work well as fresh tarragon replacements. If you had planned to use dried tarragon all along, then consider using dried dill, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, or anise seed instead.

CHIVES:

Chives have a mild onion flavor. Their distinctive smell and taste is derived from a volatile oil, rich in sulphur and common to the onion family, but milder and more subtle in chives.

Substitutions for Chives: onions, shallots and garlic. Since chives have a delicate flavor, start slow with replacements. you can always add more later. Green onions, aka scallions, are the best substitute for chives.

What Potatoes to use for Potato Salad?

There are more than 200 potato varieties available in the U.S. Thankfully, there are only three main categories of potato, which makes choosing the right ones a bit easier:

Waxy:

These potatoes that have minimal starch, and therefore retain their shape when boiled. Their thin skin makes them a breeze to use for potato salad, since peeling them is optional. They’re also smoother and less grainy and mealy on the inside than starchy potatoes. When used in potato salad, they stay tender yet firm and make a less fluffy salad than starchy potatoes.

In-between:

While they have more starch than waxy potatoes, they can still hold their own in potato salad. Also called all-purpose potatoes, in-between varieties make a great substitute for waxy potatoes because of their medium moisture and starch content.

Starchy:

Starchy potatoes have thick skin and a drier, mealier texture. Thanks to their large cells, they don’t hold up well to boiling or mixing because they take on more water than waxy potatoes when cooked. (This is why they’re great for mashed potatoes.)
So, waxy potatoes are best for potato salad. But in-between potatoes are also fine to use in a pinch, and even starchy potatoes work if you like your potato salad on the creamy side.

To make potato salad with waxy potatoes, look for New, Red Bliss, Kennebec or fingerling potatoes at the grocery store. In-between varieties that work for potato salad include Yellow Finn, white and Yukon Gold potatoes. Most people should avoid starchy potatoes, like Russets, because they’ll fall apart instead of maintaining their shape.

TIPS FOR BUYING POTATOES

  • Look for clean, smooth potatoes, no matter the variety.
  • Give them a squeeze. Potatoes should be totally firm and not give at all when gripped.
  • Small potatoes are always great for potato salad. They boil quickly and evenly, thanks to being pretty consistent in size, and boost the salad’s overall flavor.
  • Avoid potatoes with wrinkles, soft ends, green spots or bruises. This can mean they were stored in too warm an environment or are losing moisture. If you choose a big bag of potatoes and don’t get a chance to examine each one before buying, don’t sweat slight discoloration or bruising. You can just cut those spots off before cooking.
  • Smell the spuds before you add them to your cart. If they smell like soil, they’re fresh and ready to use.

Herbs and Potato Salad STORY

When it comes to potato salad I like simple ingredients and slightly herby. I generally like olive oil based dressing over traditional Mayonnaise, but I went on a limb with this one. My herb garden is currently looking great this time of year and I am trying to incorporate as many fresh herbs in my cooking. First, I am not a gardener by any sense of the word, in fact I usually kill any plant that comes my way. I’ve found that I can keep (most) herbs alive since they don’t need much attention other than a water and occasional trimming when they bloom. One sunny Sunday afternoon I sat on the grass with my daughter, Claire, and we picked and smelled different herb combos. I closed my eyes and imagined how these flavors would mesh with potatoes and a tangy dressing. In the end, Claire and I picked tarragon and chive. I liked the earthy slightly licorice taste of the tarragon mixed with the spicy oniony chive. I wanted to incorporate an acid, but didn’t want to stick with traditional pickles or vinegar found in normal potato salad, so I thought white wine? I decided to give it a whirl realizing that this would be a winner, or the absolute opposite. It was a huge hit at our Sunday family dinner!!

From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

If you make this recipe please write a comment to tell me your thoughts! I want to connect with all of you through your experience with my recipes.

Made with Amore, Elena

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Simple Potato Salad Tarragon and Chives in a bowl
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Simple Potato Salad Tarragon and Chives in a bowl

Creamy Tarragon and Chive Potato Salad

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min + chilling time
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian/ French
  • Cuisine: Italian/ French

Description

No barbecue is complete without a bowl of delicious potato (or pasta) salad on the picnic table. Potato salad is a dish that’s typically made from boiled potatoes, sometimes- chopped veggies—like onions or celery—and some sort of creamy dressing that’s usually mayonnaise- or vinegar-based. This recipe is simple with few ingredients. The tarragon and chives in the creamy dressing gives this potato salad a unique flavor. It is still mild in nature and complements any meal. Add this potato salad recipe to your list of summer must makes! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes or other waxy potato
  • Optional: 1 cup finely chopped celery for crunch

Dressing-

  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine (or white cooking wine)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon (can use dry)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives (can use dry)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing for the potatoes by mixing the mayo, yogurt, herbs, garlic and onion powders, wine, mustard, and salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl until well incorporated. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  3. Chop your potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes
  4. Add them to the boiling water and reduce to a medium heat
  5. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until they are tender when you pierce them with a fork or knife
  6. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Let them cool, then toss with the dressing. Add celery (if using) and toss to incorporate.
  7. Put in fridge for at least one hour and serve.

Keywords: potato, boiled potato, herbs, potato recipe, easy recipe, potato salad, BBQ side dish recipe, side dish, vegetarian, yogurt, tarragon, chive