Our Moms Make the Best Potato Salad in the World

Creamy Herbal Potato Salad

In Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Oprah Winfrey’s character, Gloria Gaines, the matriarch of her family, is introduced peeling potatoes. In another scene, she’s telling a friend the secret to her famous potato salad: Dill. Ironically, this Creamy Herbed Potato Salad was made weeks before the movie debuted. Although this salad doesn’t use dill, this is a recipe to experiment with your favorite combination of herbs. 

Creamy Herbal Potato Salad

Growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of potato salads, it’s a taste to appreciate with age. There are countless versions of potato salad: Mustardy, sweet, mayonnaise, olive oil, jalapeños, yogurt and the list goes on. However, everyone’s Mom (in my case, Dad) makes the best potato salad in the world. I won’t argue with you.

Red Skinned Baby Potatoes

Fresh Herbs

Since, this is one of the last weekends to barbecue, I dare you try a new salad. This one is creamy and the taste is fresh with parsley, mint and basil. If you decide to follow Mrs. Gaines’ suggestion of using fresh dill, reduce the amount of basil. For the record, Mrs. Gaines either omits or reduces the amount pickles from her recipe, but I believe sweet pickles make potato salads taste better.

Leave a comment in the section below on what makes your mother or father’s potato salad the best in the world.


Creamy Herbal Potato Salad


  • 28 oz. baby red-skinned potatoes; scrubbed cleaned, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 or 5 celery stalks; finely diced
  • 4 to 5 scallions; white part finely diced and green part thinly sliced
  • (Optional) 1/3-cup capers; rinsed
  • 1 small minced red onion
  • About 2 cups of minced herbs (flat-leaf parsley, mint, oregano and basil); place ¼ cup aside for garnish
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet pickles or pickled relish (avoid brands with chemical preservatives)
  • 2 tsp. sea salt; more to taste (lots of it)
  • 2 tsp. fresh black pepper; more to taste
  • (Optional) Crushed red pepper; to taste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds; more to taste
  • (Optional) 1 jalapeno pepper; seeds and ribs discarded; minced
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. coconut or white sugar
  • 7 oz. unsweetened & plain Greek yogurt (use a brand with a thick texture)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil based mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. quality olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder; more or less


  1. Place potatoes in a large pot. Fill pot with water until two-inches away from the rim. Add tons of salt (this step is important, since potatoes absorb tons of salt) and keep pot covered. Uncover the pot when the water boils, reduce temperature until water is a rolling boil. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes, or until a fork easily glides into the potatoes. Drain and rinse potatoes with cold water. Set aside to cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, toss celery, scallions, optional capers, red onion, minced herbs, garlic, sweet pickles, one teaspoon sea salt, one teaspoon of black pepper, optional red pepper, smoked paprika, one teaspoon celery seeds, optional jalapeno and the zest of one lemon in a large bowl. When the potatoes are cold, mix them into the same large bowl.
  3. Whisk one teaspoon sea salt, one teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon celery seeds, juice of one lemon, sugar, yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and olive oil in a medium bowl.
  4. Using a spatula, gently mix in the wet ingredients into the potatoes. While mixing the salad, continue tasting the potatoes to carefully (no one wants a salty or under-seasoned potato salad!) adjust the seasoning to your personal taste with garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper and celery seeds.
  5. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from here.


Creamy Herbal Potato Salad

One thought on “Our Moms Make the Best Potato Salad in the World

  • September 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    It’s amazing how different almost everyone’s potato salads look. My mother’s was yellow because of the combination of mustard and egg yolks, and always a touch of sugar, and in my opinion it’s the best potato salad in the world. I’m betting most people think that of their mother’s food. 🙂

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