Perfect purple potato salad

A colourful variation on a classic dish!

Ever since I figured out a better way to make potato salad, I’ve enjoyed its flavour a lot more. Cooking the potatoes in salted water is an important first step; dousing them in vinegar as soon as your drain them is the real magic, though. The acid seeps into the potatoes giving them a pleasant tang, which means you don’t need an acidic dressing to get a lovely sweet-sour profile. When I spied gorgeous purple potatoes from Just Farms in my August Farmers’ Feast Basket from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, I knew right away what I wanted to do with them. Unlike some vibrant vegetables such as purple beans that lose all their colour when cooked, purple potatoes maintain a pretty great hue that is showcased in a dish like potato salad. Of course you can make this recipe with regular potatoes also, thought it won’t be quite so showy.



  • 1 pint (about 500 mL) small purple potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced red onion
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely diced red pepper
  • 1 dill pickle, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.75 mL) powdered mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.75 mL) crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced fresh celery or parsley leaves


  • Wash potatoes. Do not peel. Cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover.
  • Sprinkle with salt and bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. (6 – 8 minutes).
  • Drain potatoes in a colander and transfer to large bowl. Add vinegar and toss gently.
  • Let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. If letting stand for longer, refrigerate.
  • In a small bowl, stir together onion, coriander, red pepper, pickle, seasonings and mayonnaise.
  • Gently fold dressing into cooled potatoes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Serves 3 – 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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