Mark Bittman’s Potato Salad With Capers, Shallots and Mustard

Summary: Finally, a mayo-free, "adult" potato salad! This one is delicious and always a hit!

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 1½ pounds small red potatoes (You can use white, yellow or purple too)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup capers [chopped if large]
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots [about 1 medium]
  • ⅔ cup roughly chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot and cover by two inches with cold water. Salt generously and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just cooked, 10 to 15 minutes. Or, you can steam them which is what I do. Either way, when you can pierce them easily with a fork, they’re done. Drain in a colander and let them cool slightly.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice together in a small bowl.

As soon as the potatoes are cooled enough to handle [but only just—you want this dish warm], slice them into halves and place them in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing again to combine, drizzle it over the potatoes and stir gently with a wooden spoon to coat potatoes.

Add the capers, shallots and parsley to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt [if needed] and pepper.

Serve immediately. When you do, note that the capers and bits of shallot will want to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Make sure to spoon some over each serving.