Not your average picnic potatoes, this no mayo potato salad is an easy cookout recipe. Southern French Potato Salad is tangy and delicious with a dijon mustard salad dressing. A yukon gold potato salad that will perk up your next barbecue or potluck.
When it comes to cookouts, picnics and potlucks — I usually cede the Weber to my husband or other worthy grillmaster while I tackle the sides. As far as cookout recipes go, a good potato salad still ranks in the top 10 in my book. My Southern French Potato Salad is probably in the top 5 because it’s a no mayo potato salad recipe… and ideal for summer alfresco dining.
These lovely picnic potatoes aren’t heavy or goopy. In fact, they’re delightfully light and zippy thanks to a douse of white wine, briny capers and lots of fresh herbs. The best part is that French potato salad recipe is really easy to assemble. Start with the potatoes. I like Yukon Gold, but any waxy potato will do. Bring the spuds to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain the water from the pot, cover with the lid and let the potatoes steam in the pot. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off the loose skins and slice them into rounds.
It’s the hard-boiled egg (and celery) that make this French potato salad a Southern French Potato Salad. Folks in the South like eggs in their potato salad — it’s an unwritten but long accepted rule. Having grown up in Virginia, I’m not immune to those cultural dictates — and thus I always make potato salad with eggs.
To add a subtle flavor and moistness to the potatoes, sprinkle on a few tablespoons of dry white wine and chicken broth to the still warm potatoes. Carefully toss the potatoes to coat and let them sit and soak up the liquids while you prep the vegetables.
Most French potato salad recipes use scallions and/or shallots and both work nicely here, but in the summer when I can get a good sweet onion, I like to include them in the mix. Finely diced celery adds a little crunch and it’s in keeping with my Southern roots and chopped capers give a briny little bite that ties this dish together.
The BIG thing that differentiates a French potato salad from a Southern potato salad is the mayonnaise — as in — there isn’t any. Instead a French potato salad uses a dijon mustard salad dressing that coats the potatoes without getting goopy or heavy.
Whisk together the dijon, vinegar, salt and pepper and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you’ve achieved a creamy emulsion. It’s simple and delicious over the warm potatoes .
Add the chopped vegetables and hard boiled eggs to the sliced potatoes and pour on the dijon mustard salad dressing.
Toss in the chopped parsley and dill and gently toss to coat. This Southern French potato salad can be served warm or at room temperature. If you do chill it, bring it to room temperature before serving. The flavors are so mild that you’ll lose the subtle flavors if the potato salad is too cold. I served this at a big family lunch last weekend and everyone loved it.
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Southern French Potato Salad
A great alternative to mayonnaise-based potato salads and perfect for picnics and cookouts. I call it "Southern" French potato salad because I've added egg and celery (typical Southern mix-ins) but you can skip them for a more traditional French potato salad.
- 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 small vidalia onion finely diced
- 5 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers chopped
- 4 large hardboiled eggs
- 4 tablespoons drinkable white wine
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
Dijon Mustard Salad Dressing
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
PREP THE SOUTHERN FRENCH POTATO SALAD
In a large stock pot add the potatoes and cover with cool water. Heat over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Tip the pot to drain all the water then place the lid on the pot and let the potatoes steam (off the heat) for 10 minutes.
Place the eggs in a small sauce pan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes off the heat. Run under cold water, then peel eggs.
Meanwhile, chop the celery, onions, scallions and capers and transfer them to a bowl.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to peel the loose skins from the potatoes. (Don't worry if it doesn't all come off, you just want to remove the loose bits. Slice the potatoes into 1/4" thick rounds and transfer to a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle potatoes with wine and chicken broth and toss carefully with a spoon, trying not to break them apart too much. Let the potatoes soak in the liquids for a few minutes.
MAKE THE DIJON MUSTARD SALAD DRESSING:
Meanwhile, make the dijon dressing. In a bowl, combine the dijon, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly to form an emulsion. Set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE SOUTHERN FRENCH POTATO SALAD
Add the chopped vegetables to the potatoes and drizzle over the dressing. Add the dill and parsley and lightly toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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