French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad with Charred Lemon

I love the simplicity of this French Style Potato Salad.  As you probably know, French potato salads are oil based as opposed to the typical mayonnaise based potato salad.  This is the perfect alternative for someone like me who has an aversion to mayonnaise and eggs. This salad has a well-rounded flavor from the vinaigrette that blends seamlessly with the potatoes.  It is meant to be served warm or at room temperature and it goes great with a side green salad, warm French bread and a nice glass of Rose’ wine!


How has your spring been going so far?  Robby and I have been taking advantage of this amazing weather we have been having lately.  We went on a really nice bike ride in Monterey once again.  This time, we thought it would be fun to stop for lunch along the ride at one of our all time favorite lunch spots in Pacific Grove called “Red House Cafe.”  I highly recommend giving it a try if you are ever in the area!  Robby loves the burgers and I usually go for the open face Caprese.

3u9a5621 Beto invited us to meet him and his clan at Fitzgerald Reserve in Moss Beach for a picnic and some tide pool exploration.  Moss beach is just a few miles north of Half Moon Bay off of Hwy 1.  The drive is an hour and a half long for us but it is well worth it because it is so beautiful and scenic.  We set up camp at the very far left to avoid the crowd which allowed us to enjoy our picnic.  I brought this potato salad and Jill brought a delicious broccoli salad, homemade guacamole and chips. We decided to explore the tide pools in search of the many critters before we sat down to eat all of these homemade goodies.

We saw so many cool critters along with all the cool seaweed and algae.  One type of algae we saw is called iridescent algae and it had the most amazing shimmering colors when the sun hit it just right.  It was so incredibly beautiful. There were giant green sea anemones, hermit crabs, baby eels, eelgrass and black turban snails.  Sadly, we only got to see one starfish.  Paloma could spend all day exploring the tide pools, so after we ate, we decided to go back out for round two.  This beach is a must see, especially if you have kids!

3u9a5668 I love this potato salad with a nice glass of Rose’. It is also wonderful with a Sauvignon Blanc.

3u9a5637 French Style Potato Salad Recipe:
8 – 10 servings
  • 2 1/2 Pounds Yellow Potatoes – 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar – (helps to keep potatoes intact)
  • French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Shallot or 1/4 Cup – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3/4 Cup Scallions – thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas – thawed
French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – for the whole recipe click here.
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Tarragon – roughly chopped
  • 1 Medium Shallot (about 2 tablespoons) – minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Charred Lemon
  • 2 Organic Lemons – sliced to 1/4 inch
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Charred Lemon Rings – one slice per serving
  • Scallions
  • Pecorino Cheese – optional

Dice the potatoes into half inch chunks and put in a large pot covered in water.  Add the vinegar and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-high heat.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until opaque and soft.   Make sure and check on them a few times, you don’t want to hard or mushy potatoes.  The best way is to taste them.  When the potatoes are tender, pour into a colander, drain and then dump them into a large bowl.


Add mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk together.  Next whisk in the vinegar, tarragon, shallots and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Charred Lemon

Slice the lemons no less than a 1/4 inch or the flesh will dissolve. Lightly coat in olive oil and lightly sprinkle with fine sea salt.  Turn on the burner to medium-high heat.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or in the frying pan and when hot add the lemons in a single layer. Cook until the lemons just beginning to char then flip to cher the other side.  (about 2 -3 minutes on each side)


Add the peas to a bowl of water to thaw.

While the potatoes are cooking, prep and then mix the garlic, shallots salt and pepper into the wine.  Set aside.

While the potatoes are hot, pour the wine mix over the potatoes and gently toss a few times.  Let sit for 5 minutes then add the vinaigrette, peas, cabbage, and scallion.  Carefully stir everything together.  The dressing will soak into the potatoes so don’t worry if it is pooling at the bottom of the bowl.  Stir before serving.  Top with a little more scallions, pecorino and charred lemons.

3u9a5679 Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss,

Tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources.  It helps lower blood-glucose levels, which helps with low blood sugar.  It helps in the production of bile by the liver thus making it a great digestive tonic.  It is a mild sedative and can help with insomnia anxiety and stress. It is great for the health and function of the eyes. It helps prevent clot formation inside the tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from a heart attack and stroke.  It is rich in vitamins C, A and B-complex.  An excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.  Tarragon should not be used while pregnant or nursing.


    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Thank you so very much Kimberly! This salad is wonderful warm or at room temperature too. 😀 xO

  1. Lynn | The Road to Honey says

    You keep teasing us with all your fantastic seaside excursions. You need to post snaps so that we can all enjoy them. . .well at least virtually. We’re still freezing our booties off here in Boston.

    I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise based potato salads so I’m loving this beauty. Those flavors sound so divine and, with that crusty bread, I am already dreaming about a seaside picnic.

    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Thank you Lynn!!! Awww, sorry you’re still freezing! I actually did snap it. I wish they lasted longer than 24 hours. I do need to do more with Snapchat! Thanks so much for stopping by! xO

    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Thank you so much Ash!!! You are so right about this being perfect for summer! Thanks so much for stopping by! xO

Leave a Reply