Serious Salads: Patricia Wells's Warm Potato Salad with Capers, Scallions & Mint Recipe

Serious Salads: Patricia Wells's Warm Potato Salad with Capers, Scallions & Mint Recipe

This warm potato salad, adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells, is a welcome change from the typical American-style potato salad loaded with mayonnaise.

Wells dresses steamed potatoes in a sharp and tangy mustard vinaigrette studded with scallions and briny capers from her Provence garden. I have to caution that it's not for the faint of heart—the dressing is very assertive and there are a lot of capers. If you want to tone it down, cut back on the mustard and capers or add a few teaspoons of honey.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 1 quart water
  • 1 pound firm, yellow-fleshed potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), scrubbed but not peeled
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, white part only, finely sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup capers in vinegar, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


  1. 1.

    Bring the water to a simmer in the bottom of a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Place the potatoes on the steaming rack over simmering water, cover and steam until cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Add the scallions and capers, and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt.

  3. 3.

    When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, slice crosswise into thin slices. Add to dressing and toss to coat. Add the mint and toss again. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.