Lemon Cilantro Potato Salad



My husband loves potatoes. It’s a true love that began when he was a wee one fed piles of the mashed kind by his grandmother and mother at every meal. Every. Single. Meal.

I’ve always been wary of attempting his family’s mashed recipe. I’m equally shy of his family’s potato salad recipe, a dish his aunt always brought to my home for special summer events, sweetly covering for my fear of the notorious creamy potato goodness. I’m not scared of potatoes or mayonnaise. I’m more scared of not getting it right in front of his gigantic Irish-American family.

Today, with his family no where in sight, I wanted potato salad, damn it, so I decided to make up my own recipe. As I boiled and chopped and mixed, my husband inquired as to the whereabouts of the mayonnaise. I reassured him, “No mayo. No problem. You’ll love it.” He buried his head in his coffee mug and muttered something about his grandmother, but I simply said, “I can’t hear any mumbling right now!” He shuffled out to the barn and left me to my mission.

I created this recipe on the fly and really adore it. I can actually taste potato, two kinds, red and purple. I lick my lips to the lemony flavor absorbed into the salad due to loads of lemon zest and juice. The chopped vidalia onions are soft and sweet, while the chopped garlic scapes provide a snappy crunch. After much internal debate about basil or cilantro, I decided my tomato bruschetta would swim in basil, so these potatoes deserved some of that fresh cilantro.

You can really mix these ingredients together to your taste. I’ve provided some guidelines and what I did, but it’s fun to add and taste as you go along.

My husband enjoyed this side dish very much. He easily got past the no-mayo thing. Alas, he couldn’t get past why I wouldn’t think to add crumbled bacon to the dish. He’s right; I bet that would taste great. But while bacon is pleasing even to many vegetarians I know, the sort coming to dinner today were “real” vegetarians who couldn’t be bothered with pork products. He feels there’s something intrinsically wrong with anyone who won’t eat bacon, but that’s another post for another day.

Try this dish; it’s delicious.

Lemon Cilantro Potato Salad


  • 3-4 lbs potatoes, both purple and red
  • 4 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 large vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Lemon zest, from 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon, dijon mustard
  • 6 pours, olive oil (about 6 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender to a fork. These took different times as the purple potatoes were much smaller. In general, the potatoes were fork-tender within 15-25 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. As they cool, make the vinagrette.
  2. Put the lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper in a little jar that has a lid. I used about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake until well combined.
  3. Chop or slice the potatoes into your desired shape. I cut them into quarters. In a large bowl, place the potatoes, scapes, onion, cilantro and lemon zest. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and watch as the warm potatoes suck up the tangy dressing. Toss everything very well and leave to marinate at room temperature until the rest of your meal is ready to be served. Taste just before serving and re-season, as needed, with salt and pepper.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

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  • i LOVE this, and even though i hate cilantro, i would eat it.

    ok, i’d probably pick out the cilantro, but it still looks and sounds delicious!

  • So bright and fresh with the lemon and sweet onions! I love the look of this. I wouldn’t miss the mayo a bit! But the bacon… well, everything is better with bacon!

  • This recipe looks amazing. I’m going to try it this weekend!

    You might be interested in my website. There are some incredible recipes.

    Thanks for the idea!



  • that looks absolutely delicious! and easy to make

  • I love how you’ve beautifully substituted mustard and other herbs over the mayo dressing! this would be a great salad to submit to my Healthy Cooking event:)

  • This potato salad is just as delicious as it looks! Even better the next day with some egg whites added in – an impromptu breakfast in 10 minutes!!

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  • Erica

    I am so making this, it looks delicous and Maggie like your husband my boyfriend has a small obsession with potatoes. And he also expects a mashed, baked, or fried potato of some sort with every meal. 🙂 Thanks for a differant idea.
    Love the site!!!

  • Lana

    This is absolutely delicious. I made it and my standard mayo version for a dinner where a mayo-hater guest was attending. This version was the bigger hit, even with the mayo lovers. I’m so envious of cooks who can “create on the fly.”

  • Reanna Kaopuiki

    WOW!!!!!!! This is so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!