New Potato Salad with Basil, Shallots and Lemon

I love tradition as much as anyone, but I also have a need for things that are new and different – even if it’s something as simple as potato salad.

With no disrespect intended to all the classic, wonderfully mustard-y versions out there, this potato salad is refreshingly “different” and absolutely delicious on so many levels.

This recipe has made numerous appearances on our table over the years, so we’ve gotten to know it pretty well. It’s a delightfully, unexpectedly sweet/savory little potato salad. It’s perfect for spring and summer holidays and parties, and works really well with grilled meats and burgers, as well as white fish and salmon!

I’ve tweaked the recipe a little here and there. Lightly seasoning the potatoes as they cool works better that trying to season the dressing. This recipe is also easy to make ahead of time – just toss everything together shortly before serving. That way your dressing will be fresh and flavorful!

The same goes with the basil. If it’s mixed into the dressing, it’s just fine (refrigerated, of course), for up to two days. Basil used for garnish needs to be cut and added just before serving so it stays fresh and green.

And then there’s the lemon zest. It started as a strange little brainstorm, and ended up “making” this salad in my humblest opinion. Lemon has a way of waking up the flavors it’s added to, and it added the perfect amount of brightness to this recipe for sure.

New Potato Salad with Basil, Shallots & Lemon recipe from

After combining all the ingredients, let the dressing flavor through for a bit – 15 minutes or so will do. Then, toss with the cooled potatoes and serve the salad with a wedge of lemon or two, and revel in the bright little magic that occurs when these delicate flavors hit your palate.



New Potato Salad with Basil, Shallots and Lemon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This potato salad is refreshingly “different” and absolutely delicious on so many levels. It’s delightfully, unexpectedly sweet/savory. It’s perfect for spring and summer holidays and parties, and works really well with grilled meats and burgers.
Recipe from:
Serves: 8 - 10
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 3 pounds new potatoes (use different colors if possible)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh lemon zest, plus more for garnish (about ½ a lemon)
  • 6-10 large fresh basil leaves - thinly sliced or chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Additional lemon slices or wedges for serving – optional, but really nice
  1. Clean the potatoes and place them in a pot or straight-sided pan. Add just enough water to cover the top of the potatoes and add the course sea salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for another 10 – 15 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Drain the cooked potatoes and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in halves or quarters, if needed, so they’re bite-sized pieces. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Make the dressing: Stir the sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, shallots, lemon zest, and basil (reserving some lemon zest and basil for garnish if desired), until completely combined.
  4. Taste and add seasoning, or more ingredients, if needed.
  5. Gently toss the potatoes and dressing. Serve immediately at room temperature, or refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight, and serve chilled. Garnish with more lemon zest and fresh basil just before serving. (See notes below.)
Cook's Notes:
*If making ahead: Cook the potatoes and prepare the dressing, but refrigerate separately and toss just before serving.
*New potatoes are really nice here, but larger, cut-up potatoes are just as good in this recipe.
*The shallots become a bit more pronounced over time. Slice and add them just before serving if you prefer milder flavors.
*Basil discolors and wilts if sliced or chopped too far in advance. Basil mixed into the dressing will be fine (even overnight), but slice or chop any basil used as garnish just before serving.
*Refrigerate leftovers for up to two days. The dressing may separate a tiny bit, but it’ll still be delicious.
*Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

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New Potato Salad with Basil, Shallots & Lemon recipe from

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2 comments… add one
  • Adam J. Holland April 11, 2016, 3:47 pm

    First of all, some traditions were meant to be broken. I mean, seriously. I was turned off by potato salad for years and years because my parents — Southern as they are — served a mustardy concoction that was chock full of raw onions and sweet pickle relish. Oh sure, the crowds loved it, but I avoided it like the zika virus.

    I’ve managed to taste and even create a few versions over the years that put me back into the potato salad camp, but your version… Wow! This is beautiful and modern and — I could it is as my main dish. Seriously.

    I would give my parents the link to this recipe, but to heck with it. Let them eat mustard!

    • Michele Phillips June 6, 2016, 10:11 pm

      HA! Adam, you crack me up! I know exactly the mustardy-maddness you speak of… They all have their place, but this one is refreshingly light and addictive, indeed. I hope you have a chance to try it sometime! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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