Warm Potato Salad with Variations for Summer

For the very best potato salads, always pour some of the dressing--or simply lemon juice or vinegar and olive oil--over the warm potatoes. This forms a foundation that makes almost any potato salad blossom into its full flavor.

Warm Potato Salad
  • 6-8
  • Cook Time: 20 Min


  • 3 pounds small new potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 3/8-inch thick slices
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup, loosely packed, Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives


  1. Put the sliced potatoes into the basket of a steamer set over boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy or falling apart, about 18 minutes.

  2. While the potatoes steam, make the vinaigrette. Put the shallots into a medium bowl, season with salt, add the vinegar and let rest 10 to 12 minutes. Add the lemon juice, white wine and several turns of black pepper. Stir in the olive oil. Taste and correct for salt.

  3. When the potatoes are tender, put them into a medium bowl, drizzle with half the vinaigrette and toss very gently. Let rest for at least 30 minutes so that the potatoes can absorb the dressing.

  4. To finish the salad, toss the potatoes with the remaining dressing, half of the parsley and half of the chives. Toss, taste and correct for salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter.

  5. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and herbs and either serve immediately or use as a base for a more complex salad.

Summer Variations:

-With cherry tomatoes and cucumbers: Cut a pint of cherry tomatoes in half if small and in quarters and cut a medium cucumber, preferably Armenian, into medium dice. Fold the tomatoes and cucumbers into the potatoes before adding the final vinaigrette.

-When green beans come into season, add some to the salad. To do so, cut about a pound of Blue Lakes, Romanos, Spanish Musica or other green beans into 1 1/2-inch lengths (leave haricots verts whole), cook in boiling salted water until just tender, drain, cool slightly and fold into the potatoes after they have been marinated and before adding the final vinaigrette. This version is also quite good with halved or quartered cherry tomatoes and with thinly sliced radishes. Replace the parsley and chives with fresh basil.

-With tomatoes and bacon: Make just a half recipe of the vinaigrette and set it aside for finishing the salad. Fry 4 or 5 slices of bacon until it is crisp, set it on absorbent paper to drain and put 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat into a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of good white or red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and pour over the warm potatoes. Let the potatoes rest while you cut a pint of cherry tomatoes in half or in quarters and chop or crumble the bacon. Fold the tomatoes into the potatoes, add the vinaigrette, transfer to a serving bowl and top with the parsley, chives and crumbled bacon.

-With toppings instead of additions: Top the salad with 3 or 4 sliced hard-cooked eggs, 3 or 4 cooked sausages cut into diagonal slices, 5 or 6 poached, peeled and sliced lambs tongues or poached salt cod before adding the final vinaigrette.

-With red wine vinegar: When making the vinaigrette, use a robust red-wine vinegar--from DaVero, Vivo, B. R. Cohn, O or another local producer--in place of the white wine vinegar. Use red wine in place of the white wine. Taste carefully and adjust as needed for salt and acid balance. Reduce the parsley to 3 tablespoons and replace the chives with a mix fresh oregano and thyme. This version is quite good topped with sausages.

-For creamy potato salad: Marinate the salad as directed in the main recipe and omit the remaining vinaigrette, parsley and vinaigrette. Add 2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered or sliced, 3 or 4 celery stalks cut into small dice and a handful of very thinly sliced radishes to the potatoes after they’ve rested in the marinade for 30 minutes. Combine 1 cup of home made or Best Foods mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons of minced Italian parsley. Taste the mixture, season with salt and pepper and fold into the salad.

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