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July 30, 2018

Light Potato Salad

by Anne Paddock

A classic summer dinner menu often includes potato salad – that traditional “all-American” (note: traditional potato salad originated in Germany according to many food historians) side dish that graces our tables more often in the warm months than any other time of the year.

Everyone has their favorite recipe (my husband is still mourning his mother’s mayo and hard-boiled egg version that hasn’t graced his dinner plate in a decade), including me who advocates for a lighter, healthier version with no mayo, very little oil (and no eggs).

At the center of the dish is the potato and it does make a difference which potato you use. The small red potato is best because it holds its shape when cooked. In addition, red potatoes have a low starch content with a creamy, moist flesh that makes it ideal when mixed with other ingredients to make a salad.

Light Potato Salad (serves 4-6)


  • 1 bag* (about 1.5-2 pounds) small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons mild-tasting olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard (try Annie’s or mix your own with mustard and horseradish)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup straight leaf parsley, chopped, optional
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (green part only)
  • 1 2-ounce jar capers, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper

*small red potatoes are typically packaged in small bags that vary in size (24-32 ounces)

Place the whole red potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Heat on the stove on medium until the water boils. Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Cook until tender (about 20 minutes,depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan, place the olive oil along with he chopped red onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Turn the heat off and set the pan aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the mustard and the vinegar until blended. Set aside.

On a large cutting board, half and quarter the small red potatoes. Place the pieces in a large mixing bowl. Using a spatula, pour the sautéed onion mixture over the potatoes. Pour the mustard/vinegar mixture over the potatoes and gently stir to blend.

Sprinkle the thyme, parsley, scallions, and capers over the potato mixture. Gently  blend. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

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