Classic Potato Salad

Pertaters! But let’s give it style.

You all know my maniacal obsession with thrifting. Estate saling, garage saling, flea marketing, swap meets, junk hunts. I love it. I love it all. Well I found this little cookbook recently at an estate sale. And I’ll tell you, from the dense weight of it (small but heavy!), the beautiful garlic illustration on the front, the attractive font with the words ROAST CHICKEN and Other Stories – I spiraled into submission.

The water stain was me. I had a plant on it. Oopsie.

While it was originally published in 1994 (I graduated high school that year!), it’s the little handwritten note inside any thrifted book that warms me. It says, “To Libby, the best friend I ever had!! With love, Margaret Ann. Dec, 2007.” Like, WHAT IS THAT STORY? I need to know Libby and Margaret Ann and find out what they’re doing later tonight.

And by later tonight I mean 4pm.

Well the book is glorious. Old fashioned, very English, interestingly-chosen chapters. (like one whole chapter is on cilantro.) The illustrations are beautiful and the writing straightforward but friendly.

I found a potato salad to make and share with you. I’m following Simon’s instructions to the dang t.

Here, look.

It’s an interesting technique, like boiling the potatoes with the mint. (said like, “in the computer?” – name that movie.)

So yeah, let us peepeth.

He uses both vegetable oil and olive oil, and I wasn’t mad at it.

I will say, instead of chives I have wild onion in my garden, but he calls for chives or spring onions (scallions), so whatever ya got.

I went with a mix of purple, red and gold new potatoes. I hope this works for you, Simon. They’re waxy, I swear!

Have you ever boiled your potatoes with mint? I never have. This was a first, and I’ll vouch that they do in fact take on a subtle mint flavor. I’m into this, Simon.

Some of the peel naturally came off the potatoes (Simon’s into peeling), but some stayed in tact, so I peeled a little and left the rest whole. Don’t get mad, Simon!

The dressing – both oils, salt and pepper, the vinegar and mustard. It’s VERY tangy, but absolutely worked over that amount of potatoes.

Like Simon says (ha), we’ll dress the potatoes while they’re warm and sprinkle in the chives or spring onions right at the end. Give it all a gentle toss and just watch what happens. It’s honestly so pretty. It’s rustic but sophisticated, and I love that.

Like, look.

I did add a few more baby mint leaves for garnish because why else are we here?

It has wonderful flavor. Richly satisfying. Like I said, very tangy, but the longer it sits the more mellow it gets. So cover and let it rest a few minutes before you serve if you feel it needs to chill out.

The potatoes are tender, but not mush. They’re silky with an onion flavor that’s seriously to die for. I love potato salads like this.

Tell me, are you whole-potato-salad fan, or more of a mush-it-up-and-sprinkle-with-paprika type?

You know the type. It has 1985 church pot luck written all over it. (hi, mom!) Where do you land? I need these details.

In the meantime, give something like this a go! Simple, homey, incredible flavor.

Nicely done, Simon. You want to meet up with Libby and Margaret Ann later, too?

No? Oh. Okay.

Here’s the recipe, taken straight from Roast Chicken and Other Stories:

Classic Potato Salad
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  • 1 1/2 lb waxy potatoes
  • 4 mint sprigs
  • 1 Tbs. smooth Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • One bunch of chives, snipped, or spring onions thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the mint and potatoes and cook until tender, 20-30 minutes. Using a sieve, transfer to a large cutting board and peel off any peel that’s coming off the potatoes. Leave the rest in tact. Cut the larger potatoes into quarters or halves. Leave the tiny potatoes whole. (Discard the mint.)
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, olive oil, vinegar and mustard, along with a pinch of salt and a crack of freshly ground pepper.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and pour the dressing over. Garnish with chives or onions and give it all a light toss. Some final mint leaves? Sounds beautiful.
  4. Serve room temperature. (Chilled even works!)
  5. Serves 4-6.

Poll: Who wants another recipe from this cookbook?! Besides me, me, and me.

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12 Responses to Classic Potato Salad

  1. Mimi June 14, 2022 at 11:12 am #
    Looks good! Just wanted to let you know there’s like four ads sprinkled in with the directions and ingredients list. I dunno if that’s something you can fix, but it makes it almost unreadable. Cheers!
    • Bev Weidner June 14, 2022 at 12:32 pm #
      Ohhhh good to know. I'll see if we can clean that up! Thanks for the heads up.
  2. Heather June 14, 2022 at 11:57 am #
    This looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. The mint flavor - does it still come through after the tangy dressing is added? Also - is "spring onion" always shallot? I thought it was green onion all this time! And yes to more recipes! That book looks amazing. Well done, Margaret Ann (and Libby - why did you get rid of it?!)! :)
    • Bev Weidner June 14, 2022 at 12:28 pm #
      Spring onions = scallions or green onions, yep! ACTUALLY, the bulb of a spring onion is bigger than a traditional scallion (not shallot), but it's close enough. :)
  3. Toni June 14, 2022 at 12:25 pm #
    I want ALL the recipes...please...
  4. Julie June 14, 2022 at 12:38 pm #
  5. Katy K June 14, 2022 at 11:50 pm #
    Yes, more recipes from this book, please! I love vintage cookbooks, I have a few and they are a hoot to read. My favorite old cookbook is the 1939 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fanny Farmer. It was my grandmothers and is full of her writing, and recipes she clipped from the newspaper, and magazines. Thanks for this recipe, I'm going to make it when we get back from vacation!
  6. Julie June 18, 2022 at 12:40 pm #
    This looks fantastic! All about potato salads that are mayo free. Making ASAP!
  7. caitlin June 18, 2022 at 1:46 pm #
    yes more recipes from this cookbook, please!
  8. Nancy June 20, 2022 at 7:13 am #
    I made this last night and it was SO good! Thanks for sharing!


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