Creamy Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs

Creamy potato salad with fresh herbs takes a cue from both Southern Gulf and German cooking traditions with a mayo based vinaigrette, horseradish, mustard, celery seed, and dill. It’s a family favorite. We’re sure your family will love it, too.

A bowlful of potato salad, beside a pink plate with a serving spoon and more potato salad.

Adapted from Kelsey Barnard Clark | Southern Grit | Chronicle Books, 2021

When my great-great-grandparents immigrated from Germany over one hundred years ago, they arrived in Mobile, Alabama, and opened their family restaurant. They served wholesome comfort food with German and Southern Gulf influences.–Kelsey Barnard Clark

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY BOILED POTATOES ARE READY?

Whether your potatoes are whole or cubed, make sure that they’re the same size so that they all cook at the same rate. Starting the potatoes in cold water helps them to cook more evenly, so make sure not to overlook that instruction. After simmering, the potatoes are done when they are tender all the way through. You can test this by poking the potato with a fork or paring knife. If the utensil slides easily all the way to the center, the potatoes are done, 12 to 15 minutes.

Creamy Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs

A bowlful of potato salad, beside a pink plate with a serving spoon and more potato salad.
My great-great-grandparents were famous for this delicious potato salad, it's a family recipe that's been handed down across generations. Filled with loads of flavor from mayo, horseradish, celery salt, scallions, garlic, and dill, there's a reason it's a favorite.
Kelsey Barnard Clark

Prep 25 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 2 hrs
Sides
American
10 to 12 servings
407 kcal
No ratings yet
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Ingredients 

  • 5 pounds new potatoes quartered
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more as needed
  • 1 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Directions
 

  • In a large pot combine the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt, cover with enough cold water so that all the potatoes are submerged. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are barely tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam and drain for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, horseradish, celery seed, and garlic powder. Fold in the scallions, parsley, and dill. Season with salt to taste.
  • While the potatoes are still warm, toss them in a large bowl with the dressing to coat, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Season with salt to taste.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 407kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 42g (14%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 18g (113%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mg (1%)Sodium: 1498mg (65%)Potassium: 1050mg (30%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 460IU (9%)Vitamin C: 52mg (63%)Calcium: 56mg (6%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This creamy potato salad with fresh herbs seems to have an identity crisis, but that is not a bad thing. The dressing has mayo, but is not a typical mayo-based dressing. It's like a vinaigrette, except for that bit of mayo. And there is the horseradish. Not a typical German potato salad, nor a typical American one. And yet... it works.

Waxy potatoes hold together through boiling, giving you that toothsome, non-mushy texture that the best German salads have. The vinegar and parsley add that classic taste. But the mustard and mayo smack of the American south. All of this comes together to make one excellent melting pot of potato salad.

As someone who would always rather have macaroni salad and usually only eat potato salad to be polite, German-style potato salad always felt like the black sheep in a category I had no interest in. I'm not sure this recipe for creamy potato salad with fresh herbs has swayed me to issue a blanket pardon to all the dripping wet one-note vinegar sauced spuds I've suffered through, but this one has wormed its way into my heart with its stellar flavor profile and a dressing that clings to the potatoes.

The usual bacon base has been omitted and replaced with almost 2 cups of chopped green herbs and horseradish, which brings so much vibrancy and freshness that it proves bacon doesn't make everything better. The celery seed brings a lot of nostalgia for me (a key component in my grandmother's macaroni salad) and helps the salad feel old-fashioned and comfort-laden without sacrificing the lightness of the herbs.

Make this recipe when you have a bunch of guests coming over, because it feeds an army. I have been delivering containers of it around the neighborhood, and it continues to convert German potato salad skeptics left and right. Someone even called it "divine" and "to die for." I'll let the reviews speak for themselves.

My only change is I might cut the potatoes slightly smaller, but that's a personal preference to increase the dressing to potato ratio in each bite, because it's that good.


Originally published August 10, 2021

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