French style potato salad in a dijon mustard vinaigrette

French-style potato salad is a light and flavorful alternative to traditional mayonnaise-based potato salads. Characterized by its Dijon mustard vinaigrette, it offers a tangy and slightly sharp flavor that pairs wonderfully with the tender, earthy potatoes. This salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a sophisticated side dish for your next gathering. Here’s how to make it:



For the Salad:

2 pounds small potatoes (such as fingerling or baby Yukon Gold), halved or quartered to uniform size

1 tablespoon salt (for boiling the potatoes)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or shallots

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste




1. Cook the Potatoes:

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool slightly.

2. Prepare the Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined and emulsified.

3. Combine the Salad:

While the potatoes are still warm, transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion (or shallots), parsley, capers (if using), and chives.

Pour the vinaigrette over the warm potatoes and gently toss to combine, ensuring all the potatoes are coated with the dressing. The warm potatoes will absorb the flavors more effectively.

4. Season and Serve:

Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. The salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

If serving later, you might want to adjust the seasoning again as the flavors will meld and develop over time.


Potato Choice: Waxy potatoes like fingerlings or baby Yukon Golds hold their shape well and have a creamy texture that works perfectly for this salad.

Serving Suggestions: This salad pairs beautifully with grilled meats, seafood, or as part of a spread for a summer picnic.

Variations: Feel free to add other herbs such as tarragon or dill for a different flavor profile. A splash of lemon juice can also brighten up the salad further.

French-style potato salad in a Dijon mustard vinaigrette is a delicious and elegant side dish that showcases the simple flavors of its ingredients. It’s a refreshing alternative to heavier, mayo-based potato salads and is sure to become a favorite at your table.

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