Julia's Potato Salad

"This is a recipe by Julia Child. I'm always asked to bring this potato salad to all summer get togethers. One friend says that she can't eat any other potato salad, because she just keeps thinking about mine. I use 3/4 mayo and 1/4 sour cream."
photo by Diana 2 photo by Diana 2
photo by Diana 2
Ready In:
6 cups




  • Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter-round slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. It is essential that they be just cooked through. Bite into a slice or two to be very sure. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes. Transfer bowl. Stir the cider vinegar with 1/3 cup of the potato water or chicken stock and drizzle this over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.
  • Add the prepared onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and season carefully, to taste. Top with 2/3 cup of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise and a bit of sour cream) and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, or mayonnaise as needed.
  • Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning again.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. candycayne25
    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo yummy!! I made this w/out bacon or peas because i did not have any and it was still so fresh and flavorful! My husband said it was the best he has ever had! I would agree! I love you Julia! lol
  2. Diana 2
    I really liked this recipe. The relish added a touch of sweetness which I thought was very nice. This is the first time I've ever used the 'potato water' method, and found it interesting. I really loved the firmer potato chunks as opposed to the 'well cooked' that I usually do. I'll remember that trick no matter which recipe I'm using. Thanks FrVanilla for a lovely addition to my salad collection. I'll certainly be making this more often. Made for the May Herb/Spice of the Month.
  3. cathy.galea
    I love this potato salad! It's fresh and different than the same old potato salad i'm used to. i will definately be making this again.
  4. iris5555
    Right after making this I tasted the salad and thought perhaps I had found a Julia Child recipe that wasn't superb. I should not have doubted! After putting the salad in the refrigerator for an hour, it tasted wonderful. I guessed on the amount of potatoes so may not have had the right amount to absorb all the vinegar and potato water so I did drain the potatoes before adding the remaining ingredients. I still am not convinced that relish belongs in a potato salad (personal quirk), so I would omit that next time. I used a mixture of light sour cream, mayo and light mayo, because I love mayonnaise and potato salad too much--at almost 600 calories a serving I did want to lighten things up.
  5. Leanne Boyd
    This is the best potato salad I have ever made and the only one I will make from now on.Easy to make, I used real bacon crumbles that I keep on hand and the chives. Served it for Mother's Day lunch with MIL, everyone raved. Thanks for sharing.



Find More Recipes