French Potato Salad with Herbs

A nice alternative to a regular potato salad, this classic French Potato Salad with Herbs is light, delicious, and perfect for a summer barbecue; bonus that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated!

French Potato Salad with Herbs in a White Serving Bowl

Though long a fan of a potato salad I’ve made for many years with sour cream and bacon; this recipe for a French Potato Salad with Herbs is probably my favorite for a barbecue.

Not just because it is filled with fresh herbs and simply dressed with an olive oil and vinegar mixture but because it doesn’t come attendant with a requirement to keep it cool…how perfect is that for summer outings?

This is yet again another recipe that I’ve updated that was too good to languish in the archives of many years ago and is just one of hundreds of recipes from my original food website that I am STILL bringing over to this blog.

I may never get all of them done but this gem is simply too good to be lost in that transition. I was thinking the other day about the hundreds and hundreds of recipes I have with no attribution though. No one claiming ownership, no links to another blog.

Years ago, BI (Before the Internet) and the business of food blogging, people loved to share what they had made; readily giving their friends, neighbors and guests a recipe to use with no regard as to whether someone else would claim it; no small print advising that they had better tell everyone who enjoyed it who had actually come up with the dish.

It was expected that we would all put our own spin on it and if someone came to my home and I served a dish as a result of them sharing a recipe…they did not stand up in the room and announce to everyone present that it was really their recipe.

They might be tickled pink that I had been serious about enjoying something they had made but that was about it. It was that history of sharing that saw recipes traverse this country, get revised by thousands and end up on kitchen tables from NYC to LA; all becoming a part of a thousand different family traditions.

French Potato Salad with Herbs on a White Plate with a Sandwich and Chopped Tomatoes

So I might get a bit disjointed when I see the laments about ‘stealing’ recipes and how people start wringing their hands at the injustice.

I get the angst over taking our photos; that truly is our work product but recipes? They are a compilation of years of experience, tasting different foods, sharing meals with others, and more.

I hope you take this recipe, make it my way or your way and enjoy it with your friends and family. Letting me know is fun and showing attribution is considerate if you blog about it, but in the long run?

I want people to enjoy my efforts; be they from years ago or something I created in my kitchen yesterday. I give up thanks to the originator of this French Potato Salad with Herbs salad, wherever you are, and hope my readers, friends, and family enjoy it too…it’s simple and delicious and one of our favorites!

The ingredients list is simple and includes things that most cooks will either have on hand or can easily source, including (full recipe at bottom of page):

  • 4 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 4 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard (My favorite is from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 small shallot, minced (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme

While I love this mixture of herbs, certainly try a combination of those you love too. I personally love shopping for herbs at Sprouts where you can buy the amount you choose, not an entire bottle. Herbes de Provence would be a delightful substitution for the tarragon and thyme. But in any event, try it; it’s a lighter and really wonderful take on potato salad!

More Favorite Potato Salads

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French Potato Salad with Herbs Served in a White Bowl

Yield: 8 - 10 Servings

French Potato Salad with Herbs

French Potato Salad

A light potato salad made with olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar and herbs.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 lbs small red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 4 Tbsp salt
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp whole grain mustard, My favorite is from Trader Joe's
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 small shallot, minced (about 4 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme


  1. Place potatoes and salt in large pan, cover with water andbring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
  2. Put peeled garlic into simmering water and partially blanch, about 45 seconds.
  3. Immediately run garlic under cold tap water to stop cooking and set aside.
  4. Continue to simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Put hot potatoes back into the pot they were cooked in.
  6. Press garlic through garlic press or mince by hand.
  7. Whisk garlic, reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, lemon juice and pepper in small bowl until combined. Drizzle dressing evenly over warm potatoes and gently mix; let stand 10 minutes.
  8. Toss shallots and herbs in small bowl. Transfer potatoes to large serving bowl; add shallot/herb mixture and mix gently with rubber spatula to combine. Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
  9. For best flavor, serve the salad warm or at room temperature. To make ahead, follow the recipe through step 7 and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature, then add the shallots and herbs and toss gently to combine.


Test the potatoes early and often; you don't want the slices to break but just be soft enough to slide a fork through.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 2837mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

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