Mustard and Dill Potato Salad 8.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post

Aug 22, 2018

This mayonnaise-free version is zippy and flavorful. We amped up the zing by adding chopped cornichons and using their brine in the vinaigrette.

Yukon Gold potatoes are especially appealing here, but you can use red bliss or fingerling potatoes as well.

Click here to see step-by-step photos for this recipe.

Make Ahead: The potato salad tastes even better after a day's refrigeration. You will have some mustard vinaigrette left over, which is great on salads and can be refrigerated for a few days (whisk briefly if it has separated).


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes 4 cups

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brine from a jar of cornichons, gherkins or other small pickles, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon mustard, such as Dijon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces (see headnote)
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 cornichons, gherkins or other small pickles, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette: Combine the oil, pickle brine, vinegar, mustard and 1 tablespoon of the honey in a blender, mini food processor or in a lidded jar you can shake. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Blend or seal and shake to form a creamy, emulsified vinaigrette. This should take a minute or less. Taste and add more brine, vinegar or honey, a teaspoon or two at a time, as needed. The yield is 3/4 cup.

For the salad: Put the potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add a large pinch of salt and then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the water bubbles gently. Cook for about 15 minutes, until tender but still somewhat firm. Drain, rinse under cool water for a minute, then drain again.

Toss the still-warm potatoes with the chopped cornichons and dill in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette; let the salad sit for a few minutes, then taste. Add more of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, until you are happy with the flavor.

Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (to chill thoroughly) and up to 2 days.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "How to Cook Everything," by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008), as posted on

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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