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An Herby John Hancock Signature Healthy Potato Salad

A hearty and healthy light version of the “All American”potato salad

Reinventing a classic all American dish: how to make this your signature potato salad

American potato salad is a staple in the summer and a welcome addition to every summer barbecue. Some of us have our signature dishes, you know the ones. The classic recipes that we make with our eyes closed and heart open. The dishes that we bring every year to that family reunion, make weekly for dinner or bring along to the church potluck or barbecue.

Why not reinvent your signature potato salad and make it with your own herby light touch? Using the basics in this recipe for “An Herby John Hancock Signature Potato Salad,” using a lower fat but heart-healthy vinaigrette and substituting non-fat and still creamy greek yogurt for mayonnaise, you add your own fresh herbs and optional additions. Your signature potato salad will be high on flavor and low on calories and fat.

We love returning to our roots

Each summer my kids and I venture over the big pond from France to America to spend our All American summer adventure on New Jersey soil. Because we are away from our racines (roots) the other ten months during the year, we particularly treasure a big eating dive into all typical American food. Just a smell of a barbecue is enough to be transformed away to long ago memories. And enjoying a real and hearty potato salad with the barbecue? Absolutely!

Unfortunately some super rich and creamy potato salads get the bad rap for being too high in fat and calories. Full of taste these very filling potato salads can still be enjoyed in small quantities. But why not a lower calorie and lower fat option, enjoyed for second portions and still packed full of taste? Voila, a successful experiment to reinvent the American classic.

Health benefits of one of our favorite foods

Potatoes are a highly nutrient dense and energy packed food.  Potatoes are also versatile and are popular world-wide. Used in a recipe with the right ingredients, potatoes are an important addition to any healthy balanced diet.

One medium-sized (5.3-ounce) potato, eaten with the skin on has just 110 calories and is packed with more potassium than a banana and half your daily value of vitamin C. (US Potato Board)

And this is not all! Potatoes have these other nutrient benefits:

  • Moderate source of iron
  • Good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6
  • Good source of phosphorus, magnesium
  • Source of folate, panthotenic acid and riboflavin
  • Source of fiber
  • Contains dietary antioxidants that promote good health

Importance of taste and presentation

Eating foods high in good nutrition is important, but equally important is the taste and appearance. If a food is too low in fat or lacks color and texture no prodding from a parent or begging your mouth will help take that second bite. In a potato salad recipe there must be some fat, this adds to a good mouth feel and helps the potato salad blend together. Potatoes alone are fat-free so the potato salad sauce must have an adequate fat amount to give good taste and mouth feel but keep it healthy and light.

As with any dish, presentation is also critical. Serving this potato salad in a pretty dish can add the touch to the eye that helps the stomach say yes!

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements, Marcel Boulestin

This recipe has a bit of the basics: use of a non-fat greek yogurt for creamy mouth feel and addition of a heart healthy French vinaigrette, but this recipe is also unique enough to add your own touches:

  • use of one or more fresh herbs from your garden: parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, basil “be creative!”
  • use of red onion which is sweeter and adds a bright color
  • celery to add color and nutrition
  • fresh lemon juice to burst up the flavor and cut down on salt
  • use of spices such as paprika, dried mustard and cayenne pepper to add flavor and little calories

Recipe Redux “The Healthy Summer Potato Salad Challenge”

I am honored to submit this recipe as part of “The Healthy Summer Potato Salad Challenge” sponsored by the United States Potato Board.

Disclosure Statement: “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the United States Potato Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Enjoy this make this your own signature potato salad. It is a delicious lighter version and a heart healthy potato salad to bring to your next barbecue.

A Herby John Hancock Signature Potato Salad

Serves 8-10
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue
From book Joy of Cooking
A heart-healthy but hearty flavor in this herby adaption of the All-American potato salad. High on flavor but without the added calories and fat, this potato salad will be on your signature salad list.


  • 3lb red-skinned potatoes (or another type of new (thin-skinned) potato such as Yukon Gold)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared dried mustard
  • 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and chopped )
  • 2 celery sticks with leaves (chopped finely)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs (such as: parsley, dill, chives chopped finely)
  • few grains of cayenne pepper


Potatoes are highly versatile, low-cost and nutrient-dense. Steaming potatoes and using them with their skins offers an added burst of fiber and keeps the potato's vitamins and minerals intact.

Make this 'hearty on taste' potato salad your signature salad. Full packed with your favorite fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice and spices, your family and guests will never guess that this is a low-calorie and low-fat version.

This no mayonnaise potato salad uses heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and non-fat greek yogurt. The combination of the olive oil and thick non-fat yogurt adds the perfect mouth feel of texture and fat to the dish.

Optional additions:  chopped pickles, olives, capers, cucumbers.


Step 1
Wash potatoes and steam (or boil) them until fully cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Potatoes are done when pricked with a fork and are fork-tender.
Step 2
While potatoes are cooking, prepare french dressing vinaigrette.
Step 3
For vinaigrette: mix in a bowl 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, mustard and lemon juice.
Step 4
Add slowly the olive oil to the lemon juice mixture, whisking gently to emulsify the vinaigrette. Put dressing aside.
Step 5
When potatoes are cooked and still hot, chop them into small pieces, keeping the skins on the potatoes. Put potatoes into large mixing bowl.
Step 6
Add the French vinaigrette dressing onto the hot potatoes and mix well. Allow to marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Step 7
After potatoes have marinated for an hour or so in the refrigerator, add chopped eggs, celery, onions, non-fat yogurt, paprika, fresh herbs and 1 tsp. sea salt. If desired, add your optional ingredients such as chopped pickles, olives, capers or cucumbers. Mix well.
Step 8
Put potato salad back in refrigerator and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours more.
Step 9
Serve your John Hancock signature salad in a decorative bowl. Your guests will never know this is a low-calorie and low-fat version!
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  1. Mary Brighton - June 30, 2012

    In a few days America will be celebrating Independence Day. Here is a recipe that is adapted to be high in taste,…

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