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Potato Salad with Basil Oil

Potato Salad with Basil Oil

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  • 1 cup (packed) whole fresh basil leaves plus 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

Recipe Preparation

  • Blanch whole basil leaves in boiling water for 1 minute; drain. Run under cold water; drain and squeeze out any excess water. Place basil in kitchen towel and squeeze out water. Transfer basil to processor. Add 1/2 cup oil; process until basil is very finely chopped. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt. DO AHEAD Basil oil can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

  • Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in red onion and 3 tablespoons thinly sliced basil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Place potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 17 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes stand until just cool enough to handle. Cut into 3/4-inch cubes and place in large bowl. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes and toss gently to coat. Pour basil oil over potatoes; toss gently to coat. Serve potato salad warm or at room temperature.

Reviews Section

Lemon Basil Roasted Potato Salad

Roasted potatoes make for a great potato salad in this recipe for Lemon Basil Roasted Potato Salad.

It’s that time of year where backyard barbecues are happening, and potato salad is a natural side dish to add to your meal. This is a nice, fresh, non-mayo potato salad with great flavors. A delicious vinaigrette coats roasted potatoes. Red onion, Parmesan cheese and crispy, cooked bacon are the additional ingredients that make this lemon basil potato salad so fabulous!

The secrets to a great dill potato salad

Alex and I modeled this dill potato salad off of our French potato salad, inspired by Julia Child. It’s a potato salad with no mayo: it features a simple sauce of olive oil and vinegar. Now, the way that the seasoning is added to the potatoes makes it into a naturally creamy, gooey texture.

Here’s what we learned from Julia Child on the best way to make a dill potato salad that’s full of serious flavor:

  • First, boil the potatoes whole until they’re fork tender. Drain and allow them to cool, then when they’re cool enough to touch cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place the warm potatoes in a bowl and mix them with white wine vinegar, shallot, kosher salt, and here’s the kicker: ½ cup warm water. Let this mixture stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The potatoes will absorb the water and and a runny sauce will form! (If you didn’t add water, the potatoes would simply dry out.)
  • After the rest time, then add the olive oil, capers and herbs and mix to combine. The potatoes will continue to break down a little and form a gooey texture.

How to Make Potato Salad Without Mayo

Because we are using small red potatoes that don’t need to be peeled, this no-mayo potato salad is a snap to make.

Give the potatoes a light scrub to clean, then put in a pot of cold water covering them by about 2 inches.

Bring to a boil, THEN season your cooking water with salt to flavor the potatoes as they cook. Adding the salt after bringing to a boil means the salt crystals dissolve quicker and reduces the chance of your pans becoming pitted.

Tip: Don’t cut your potatoes before boiling them. For potato salad, always cook your potatoes whole. Less surface area of the tender whites of the potatoes are exposed to the water so there’s less chance of them becoming mealy or crumbly.

Once cooked, slice the potatoes in half and while still warm, drizzle with white wine vinegar so the potatoes absorb the vinegar tang. Let the potatoes cool for 15-20 minutes and absorb the vinegar.

Whisk the olive oil with the remaining vinegar and a touch of Dijon mustard, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the potatoes then add the onion, freshly chopped herbs and toss to mix.

Onion always adds a much-needed snappy bite to potato salad. Who want’s bland? Not me. These onions just get sweeter and more delicious as they marinate in the olive oil dressing. This is a classic second day potato salad that stays good to eat for a lot longer.

Make this potato salad and eat it warm, refrigerate for an hour and enjoy it chilled, or get a head start and make it the day before to make things even easier.

Enjoy the leftovers over a bowl of fresh spring greens with grilled salmon or grilled chicken for a simple lunch.

Creamy Lemon Basil Potato Salad

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender. Drain, cut in half, then place in a bowl.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over low heat until just lightly golden. Remove from heat.

Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, mayonnaise, salt & pepper, and pesto until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as you'd like.

Pour half the dressing over the potatoes and toss to combine. Add more dressing to taste.

Cover and refrigerate the potato salad for a few hours. To serve, sprinkle lots of small basil leaves over the top. Yum!

I cooked most of the day yesterday, and here&rsquos how I started the experience: Pulled approximately forty things out of the fridge, pantry, and freezer. After that, I decided what I was going to cook.

I wound up making some very yummy things, and before the whole ordeal was over I&rsquod taken no fewer than 18,028 bites to taste what I was making along the way.

I have no idea why my jeans won&rsquot button this morning.

Here&rsquos one of the sides I made&mdasha really tasty, fresh potato salad full of lemon and basil flavor. I sort of winged it on the dressing, but wound up with something so yummy, I used the extra to make chicken salad. Divine.

To make the potato salad, you&rsquoll need:

Small potatoes
Juice of two lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared pesto (from a jar)
pine nuts
small basil leaves

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This has been a go to dish of mine for probably 4 years now. It a potluck contribution that is enjoyed by all.

We've been making this salad for the past 4 years and loving it. We add extra lemon zest, and sub the onion with scallions.

I agree with earlier reviewers that there is too much oil in this recipe - I would cut in half. Also, my family doesn't like green pepper or mint - so hesitate to review as we altered so much. Regardless - I sparked it up a bit with some hot sauce, and next day added grilled chicken sausage to make a completely different second day meal. Delicious! I am always seeking potato salads without mayo.

I thought this was the worst potato salad. no one at our 4th of July celebration liked it!

We thought that this was much better than traditional mayo based potato salad. I cut the oil back to about 1/4 cup. Used mint and basil from the garden and about 1 T. freeze dried cilantro. Had some green onions that needed using so used whites and greens in place of regular onion. Used red bell to make it pretty. This is the new "house" potato salad.

This is delicious but doesn't need anywhere near the amount of olive oil called for. I used about 1 1/2 T and it made for a really delicious light salad. Used all the herbs from my garden - mint, oregano, tarragon, basil, and rosemary, and chives. The lemon really brightens it up. Made a great side dish with grilled lamb chops.

I took to a BBQ and it got great reviews from the guests. Changed the herbs to what I had, thyme, parsley and basil, but will try the stronger herbs as suggested in the recipe next time. Definitely a keeper.

I made this as noted but with less oil and red pepper instead of green. Otherwise used the three herbs and the combination was really different. Liked it immensely. Am making again right now!

This is a wonderful, fresh, mayo-free potato salad that keeps safely at room temperature for hours. I used baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered lengthwise. Raves from everybody. The dressing would be great on any grilled veggies or pasta.

I didn't have fresh cilantro on hand, so made it with everything else (substituting green onion for white). It still tasted wonderful and was a big hit. Highly recommended to use a high quality olive oil.

I love all potato salad. Not this one. And I followed the recipe exactly. I hesitate to rate it because so many people seem to like it. The peppers react strangely with the lemon and oil for a bitter, tangy, swimming in oil mess.

Nice light potato salad. For leftovers, try sauteing. It turns this into an entirely new and equally delicious dish.

This potato salad was absolutely delicious. I altered the recipe only slightly: I used basil, parsley and thyme, as those were the herbs I had on hand. The green pepper added a wonderful flavor. It was a hit with everyone at dinner. Paired it with grilled salmon and a green salad.

This was the best potato salad I have ever made. But it is very different than the usual mayonnaise or sour cream versions. It's lighter and fresher. I did use celery instead of green pepper but otherwise did not change anything. I used 1 tsp of salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper.

this was very good. i used peeled russet potatoes b/c i happened to have a bag. there was not too much dressing as someone said--it was just right. i used 1 red pepper instead of green, vidalia onion, no cilantro and chives instead. i also used 1/4 cup of parsley.

Served it at a BBQ. and everyone wanted the recipe.

I just brought this salad to a potluck and everyone loved it. I combined this recipe, which I liked because of the herbs and because it didn't include mayo, with some items from a traditional potato salad recipe. I added celery and hard-boiled eggs (and quite a bit more salt). Very tasty!

I don't care for peppers so I left them out, but this salad is outstanding in every way. Unlike other cooks here, I thought the lemon and herbs were perfect. I've made it four times and it's delightful on a warm summer day. Who needs mayonnaise with potatoes anymore?

The ingredients worked nicely together, but I felt the final dish was lacking without a strong dose of salt. Also, I ended up needing only about half the dressing and was annoyed that I wasted so much. Other than that, though, a tasty addition to my repertoire!

Tangy, savoury, really a perfect side dish. My new favourite potato salad recipe.

Absolutely delicious - easy to follow recipe which was beautiful for a summer BBQ. None left at the end of the day.

Add a dab of Dijon and omit the cilantro, it over powers the salad, basil and parsley are most adequate! A few turns of freshly ground pepper are the Coup de Grace!

Very good --everyone liked this. The dressing is light and delicious (I added just a bit more lemon juice to taste). I added the herbs just before serving as suggested and the salad looked great.

I used half of a red and orange sweet pepper the dish was very colourful and festive. Before adding the herbs, I snuck a bite of potato. The lemony dressing was intense and bright, really quite good. It was maybe a bit too oily, other than that, very enjoyable. This changed once I added the herbs. Even though Iɽ used a lighter touch on the cilantro and mint, they both overwhlemed the salad, almost erradicating the lemony flavour. What a disappointment- I didn't finish what was on my plate (nor did my guests), and I threw the remainder into the composting pile. Sans the herbed mixture, this would be very good. If I make it again, Iɽ probably add only basil, or some parsley to the potatoes.

Am about to make this for the third time this summer (that's a lot for me!) after rave reviews the last couple of times. I'll boil the potatotes tonight and mix up the onions, peppers and dressing ingredients, minus the herbs, then mix everything together about an hour ahead of serving.

Warm Potato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 3/4 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup canola oil


Steam the potatoes over boiling water until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, boil them in well-salted water until tender. Drain them and return them to the pot in which they were cooked and set over low heat for a few seconds to dry them.)

In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, gradually add the oil until completely incorporated.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve or quarter them, depending on their size. Put them in a serving bowl and drizzle with about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Serve warm with extra vinaigrette on the side, if you like.

How to make herb potato salad, step by step

As I’ve already mentioned, you don’t need a lot of time to make this simple potato salad. Let me walk you through our method for making our herby potato salad:

Cook the potatoes. We’ve found that for the best texture for boiled potatoes it’s best to add the potatoes whole to cold salted water and then place over a burner. Adding 1 tablespoon of salt to the water helps season the potatoes as they cook. Since we add cook the potatoes whole, we buy the smallest potatoes we can find in the store.

Drain the potatoes and let them sit for a few minutes. When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, drain them. Then set them aside off of the heat so that they can cool off.

Cut the boiled potatoes for the salad. In our photos, you can see that we cut the potatoes into quarters or small bite-sized pieces. You can also slice the potatoes, it’s up to you.

Make the potato salad dressing. Simply whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, pepper, and olive oil together until emulsified and creamy.

Add the dressing to the warm potatoes. At this point, enough time has passed so that the potatoes are no longer piping hot, but they will still be warm. This is a good thing. The warm potatoes will soak up the dressing much better than cold potatoes would.

Stir in herbs and scallions. As a final step, we carefully toss the potatoes with lots of fresh herbs and scallions (a little extra lemon zest is a nice idea, too).

Serve the potato salad warm or set aside and let the potatoes soak up even more of the dressing and serve at room temperature or cold. It’s delicious!

Chef's Notes

When caramelizing onion, use a medium-low heat and allow the onions to cook for 20 minutes or until golden-brown. When roasting potatoes, place a sheet pan in the oven to preheat the pan. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl or skillet. Then pour the potato mixture on the preheated pan to cook. For meat lovers, toss cooked, chopped bacon with the vegetables. You can also substitute the bacon drippings for half of the olive oil in the dressing.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 pounds peewee potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and basil, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced (1/4 cup)

In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and season generously with salt cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve and transfer to a large bowl. Add oil, vinegar, herbs, scallions, and celery. Toss to combine season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Green and Gold 'Mashed' Potato Salad with Honey Basil Yogurt

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  • 2 pounds Idaho® Milva potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 ripe pear, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest


  1. Place potatoes to a large pot of cold water bring to a boil and cook until tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Drain, then lightly mash potatoes with a fork.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, honey, yogurt, basil, sea salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes with diced pear, dried cherries and chia seeds. Add yogurt dressing gently toss to combine. Garnish with fresh lemon zest.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Yield: 4
Calories: 320
Sugar: 18 g
Sodium: 160 mg
Fat: 8 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg

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The Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous "Grown in Idaho®" seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho's ideal growing conditions, including rich, volcanic soil, climate and irrigation differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.