Basil Potato Salad

I used red and purple potatoes in this dish for a beautiful color contrast.  Purple potatoes are stunning.  While the potatoes are still warm, a simple and tasty vinaigrette is poured over to allow the flavors to permeate the potatoes. Right before serving fresh basil is torn into the salad. This salad seems a lot more light and refreshing compared to a mayo based potato salad. A simple and delicious salad that is just perfect for a hot day!

It has been very hot around here the last few days, so eating hot meals has not been appealing. Yesterday, when I woke up to an already hot day, I decided to put together this potato salad to chill for lunch. I cooked the potatoes in the cooler morning, and by noon, when the heat was more oppressive, we had a delicious potato salad to eat. Just perfect for a hot day.


I imagine that it would be easy to play around with this recipe to use what you have on hand or to change to your personal preference. Hard boiled eggs would a nice addition, or playing around with the herbs used would be another option. Enjoy!

Oh, and one last thought! Thanks to everyone who gave such sweet and encouraging comments about the classes I am starting up! Many thanks.

Basil Potato Salad

Serves 6-8 small side servings
Because the purple potatoes are more expensive, I only used a small amount in this salad. But you could use more if you like, or leave them out completely if you can’t find them. This salad is good chilled, warm (eaten right after made), and at room temperature.

    1/2 pound purple potatoes (about 8 small potatoes)
    8 medium red potatoes
    1/4 apple cider vinegar
    1/4 extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2-1 teaspoon dry mustard
    Lots of freshly ground pepper
    2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
    Pinch of red pepper flakes
    small handful fresh basil leaves, torn.

1-Scrub and wash potatoes. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Cook until a knife jabbed in the middle meets little resistance (you don’t want the potatoes to be mushy, but also not hard. Tender, but still slightly firm). Drain and rinse with cool water and allow to cool until they are cool enough to hold.

2-Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a jar or bowl, except the basil leaves.

3-When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, with a small knife carefully peel off the skin. Cut into large chunks and place in a pretty bowl.

4-Whisk the dressing well and pour over the still warm potatoes. Very gently toss to coat the potatoes. I like to taste at this point and decide whether or not I need to adjust the flavorings (more vinegar, oil, salt pepper?). Place in the refrigerator to chill. *

5-When ready to serve, tear basil leaves over the mixture and toss gently again. Since the dressing has soaked into the potatoes, you may need to sprinkle a little vinegar/oil or salt/pepper on the salad, so once again taste test. We found it only needed a bit more salt at this step. Serve and enjoy!

*Or, for a warm potato salad, serve right away.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. debbie says

    This looks lovely! It is still rather chilly here, but I am looking forward to warmer days and light salads.

  2. says

    I love cooled dishes like this. It is so hard for me to sleep when it’s hot!! I totally relate. I have never seen purple potatoes before! Very pretty.

  3. says

    This salad looks lovely and has all the right ingredients I can eat. I will try it out sometime this week (if all goes well). Thanks!

  4. says

    This sound perfect…I have been looking for a recipe for potato salad recipe that did not involve mayo for a change. This will be great for hot days to come…sadly it is snowing – AGAIN!!!…I posted pics of my snow covered yard if you want to take a peak and be thankful for your warm weather! I am feeling a tad envious of you to be honest 🙁

  5. Brian says

    Sounds delicioius to me, but by peeling the potatoes, you are leaving out the most “nourishing” part, the skin!!

  6. KimiHarris says


    I found mine at a farmer’s market. Sometimes I will also see them at my local health store too. They aren’t always available, but sometimes you can find them!


    WOW! I can’t believe you are still having snow! I am sorry. That is sad. 🙁


    In this case, I had to peel the red potatoes as they had the toxic green layer underneath. I personally feel that boiled potato skins don’t have a good texture, so I probably wouldn’t have included them anyways. But you could if you wanted!

  7. Leesie says

    Growing up in an Italian household a similar dish of cold potatoes was served using olive oil, garlic, salt and some chopped parsley. I love the colors in your recipe. It’s amazing to me that there are purple colored potatoes, so pretty!

    Kimi, I follow a website by a young Turkish woman named Zerrin and her website blog is called Give Recipe. She has lots of great traditional and cultural Turkish recipes (many are so simple to make) that you might enjoy trying for your family. I really love her recipes and wanted to share with you. For instance, there is a recipe she posted a few months back for a cold yogurt and cucumber “soup” (cacik) and today she has shared a dessert recipe made with fresh figs (İncir Tatlısı) that I so want to try.

    I sure hope you get an opportunity to check it out and enjoy it as much as I do ;o)

    Here is the link:

    Another blog/website I follow is by Meghan Telpner, a nutritionist in Toronto, ON. She offers some great wholesome, nourishing recipes that you also may like to try. I’m looking forward to trying the pancakes made with Teff flour (she explains what Teff is on the website and I found it to be quite interesting!) Here is that link:

    And, finally a recipe I found on Chocolate & Zucchini for Homemade Lärabars
    (made with my favorite – dates!), go here:

    P.S. I hope you are okay with my sharing all this with you here in “comments.”
    If not, feel free to delete.

  8. says

    I just made a salad very similar to this with gold potatoes, Dijon mustard, dill, parsley and scallions. So much better than the old mayo kind!

  9. Leesie says

    Just another thought. Are you anywhere near Eugene or Pleasant Hill?
    Mountain Rose Herbs is located in Pleasant Hill (I am a customer of theirs and also have them on my Facebook). Maybe you could network with them to help you grow your blog and to develop those cooking classes you are looking to do ;o) Here is the link:


    Good luck!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Leesie,

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment and links! I love getting new blogs to follow and will definitely check them out! 🙂

      I am not very near to Eugene, so probably not quite close enough to network effectively with them. But that’s a great thought!

  10. says

    I made this yesterday, but because it was going to be the whole picnic meal along with some fruit, I added chicken from wings that I had used for making stock also, and added bacon and onion. I only had sherry vinegar on hand, but it worked nicely.

    Thank you so much. I am REALLY enjoying your blog.

  11. KimiHarris says

    Rebellious Pastor’s Wife,

    So glad it turned out well for you! Your additions sound wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  12. says

    Looks exquisite. The colors are just perfect, especially with the fresh green basil against the purple. It’s a work of art. I’m eager to try this recipe. I’ll keep an eye out for purple potatoes.

  13. says

    yum! i used regular baking potatoes, since that’s what i had on hand. i love the dressing; i think it would be great on bean salad, too.

  14. Heather C says

    So beautiful! We’ve found roasting the potatoes works well, too, for potato salad. You don’t need to peel them (unless, of course, they are green) and the color holds well (though it looks good in your salad; we had some potatoes that looked dull after boiling). I’m looking forward to little new potatoes in the coming months!

  15. says

    Kimi, Your potato salad looks so fun and sounds so yummy. It reminds me a lot of a German potato salad (minus the beautiful purple portatoes) which is common here in NE, usually served warm also. Your’s has an italian twist on it though and I’m eager to try it…hmm now where can I find purple potatoes out here on the prairie! Guess I’ll have to grow my own next year. Yay!

  16. Jennifer says

    I made this potato recipe today for my family, and everyone loved it! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay true to the recipe because I did not have any fresh basil or purple potatoes. I used plain russets and some green onions as a garnish to replace the basil. I know it was very different from the original recipe because basil is distinctly different from green onions, but it was still very tasty! Thank you for the recipe!

    It reminded me a lot of your everyday salad dressing, which is also a hit for me and my family!

  17. Amanda says

    Just had to share that I love this recipe. It is easy, uses ingredients I always have, adaptable (have used dry/fresh basil or added onions, meat) and NO dairy. Making it right now : ) thanks Kimi!


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