Warm Potato Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

October 5, 2012 Published by Dina

A simple recipe, but simplicity is the essence of sophistication.

This past summer in Kelowna I made a lot of different potato salads, combining them with market fresh vegetables and a variety of dressings. Some of them are posted here, and here and here (see? I make it easy for you). It was a lot of fun creating the combinations and every time it was different. But I haven’t made any since summer. Now with fall in full swing and first snow fall today (snow on the tree branches and the still green grass), I am again in the mood for the comfort of potato salad. I made my signature fall potato salad,” fall” salad because I serve it warm or at warm room temperature.

I still used the beautiful white, thin skinned potatoes from the market so I didn’t bother peeling them. Into the steamer they went and when they were just tender I cooled them slightly and then cut them into rounds, about 1/3 inch thick (don’t take out the ruler, just cut each into a few rounds). While they were still warm I drizzled them with white wine and while they were soaking it up I made a very quick tarragon vinaigrette to pour over them.

I always put onion, thinly sliced in this salad, sometimes red onion, today white. The rest is just what I have sitting around in the kitchen or fridge. I had these beautiful Italian olives, the crinkled, salty ones. I peeled them off the pits and in they went. A few capers also went in and then a couple of green onions, both white and green parts, some parsley and a handful of micro greens for garnish (I get them by the flat and keep them on the counter. They last a few days and don’t take room in the fridge that I never have anyway). So there you have it, a lovely and really delicious (really) warm fall potato salad to serve to your family, friends or yourself. Enjoy with a glass of the same wine you drizzled over the potatoes.

The beautiful linen in the images is from Inspirati and William Sonoma.


1 lb white skinned potatoes

1 small onion, red or white, thinly sliced

1/3 cup white wine (dry)

1 scant cup black Italian olives, pitted

2 green onions, chopped, both green and white parts

1-2 tablespoons capers, optional

3 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped

Micro greens for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tarragon Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoon tarragon dijon mustard, or regular dijon mustard

1/3 -1/2 cup olive oil (depending on the acidity of the vinegar and mustard)

Place vinegar in a glass dish, add salt and stir to dissolve.

Add mustard and mix and then drizzle in the olive oil, stirring all the while to emulsify the vinaigrette.

Assembling the salad:

Place the potatoes in a steamer basket over water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil., covered. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook, covered, until the potatoes are cooked through but not falling apart. Check and add a bit more water as you cook them to make sure the pot is not dry.

When the potatoes are done remove from heat and let them sit and cool a little just so you can handle them. You need them to be warm.

When the potatoes are warm but comfortable to handle cut them into rounds, about 1/3 inch thick or so. Place in a large bowl and pour the wine over the warm potatoes. Leave them to soak up the wine while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Peel and slice the small onion thinly. Use 1/2 an onion of you don’t have a small one. Add onion to the potatoes and gently mix it in.

Make the vinaigrette as described above and drizzle the vinaigrette over the still warm potatoes. Mix everything together gently with a wooden spoon.

Cut the olives off  the pit and drop the olives into the bowl with the potatoes.

Chop the green onions and add to the potatoes.

Add the capers and parsley and mix gently again.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Place in a serving bowl and scatter some micro green over the salad.

Serve warm. If you refrigerate the salad, bring it out of the fridge long enough before serving so it comes to warm room temperature.



Warm potato salad with tarragon vinaigrette

Warm potato salad with tarragon vinaigrette

Warm potato salad with tarragon vinaigrette


  • Delicious looking potato salad. I’d love to have a bite!

  • bellini says:

    I remember visiting the wine festival in the Niagara region and having a picnic prepared for us. The potato salad was made with a wne dressing that I have never been able to duplicate. Perhaps this is it:D

    • Dina says:

      Hi Val, I wonder how they made the wine dressing. I just drizzle the wine on the hot potatoes so they absorb it. It doesn’t taste like wine or alcohol. I love this potato salad.