Lacto-vegetarian pearl potato salad with lemon, orange, garlic and tarragon dressing Pearl potato salad with lemon, orange, garlic and tarragon dressing

When you need to reduce the amount of salt in a dish, what do you do to make sure that the flavors don’t fall flat? You add things that are rich and flavor and aroma so that you don’t miss the salt at all. In an earlier version of this pearl potato salad / side dish, I made the dressing with butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pepper, thyme, parsley, salt and lemon juice.

In this version, I substituted tarragon for the thyme, used more olive oil than butter and added more pepper. I also added orange juice, orange zest and lemon zest. Amazing how citrus zest can make a dish even more appetizing.

Recipe: Pearl potato salad with lemon, orange, garlic and tarragon dressing


  • 500 g. of pearl potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 3 tbsps. (or more) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of grated garlic
  • 1 tsp. of orange zest
  • 1 tsp. of lemon zest
  • juice of half an orange
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. of dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. of dried parsley
  • a generous amount of freshly ground pepper


  1. Rinse and scrub the potatoes.
  2. Cut each potato into halves.
  4. Cook in plenty of salted boiling water just until a knife runs through the thickest part of the potato without resistance. If you salt the water correctly, you will not need to add more salt later. Depending on the amount of water, you’ll need about a tablespoonful or more of salt. You’re not going to get all that salt into your body. Much of it will get thrown out with the water. You want to allow the potatoes to absorb salt from the start to flavor them properly so that you won’t be tempted to keep adding more salt later.
  5. Do not overcook the potatoes as you want them to retain their shape despite lots of tossing.
  7. Drain the potatoes, dump into a mixing bowl and, while still very hot, add the butter and 3 tbsps. of olive oil. Toss well.
  10. Add the grated garlic.
  12. Add the zests and herbs as well. Toss to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
  15. Squeeze in the orange and lemon juices. Sprinkle with pepper. Toss again.
  16. Cover the bowl loosely and let the potatoes sit in the dressing for at least 30 minutes to give them time to soak up all the flavors. If, after 30 minutes, the mixture appears dry, pour in more olive oil and toss.
  17. Pearl potato salad with lemon, orange, garlic and tarragon dressing
  18. Just before serving, taste a piece of potato and if it is really bland, then you might want to add a little salt. Or, alternatively, add more orange and lemon juice, and pepper.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. lerker says

    I learned something new. Akala ko lahat ng Potato Salad may mayonnaise. Pero parang mas masarap toh na appetizer or pag bored.

  2. says

    i love your blog! reading thru it makes me realize i have to tons to learn pa in the kitchen! thank you for sharing everything you know with us. more power!

  3. says

    I love potatoes and other carbs even if they make me fat. :) Have you ever tried cooking cheesy garlic potatoes? I love the one served as a side dish at Kenny Rogers but I don’t have any idea what they use exactly in making up the cheesy sauce.

  4. says

    I’m not familiar with the potato side dish Kenny Rogers. I used to like it there 10 years ago (read: corn muffins :) ) but the quality of the food has deteriorated terribly.

  5. ling says

    i love pearl potatoes, specially with aioli dip. but then i would like to try your recipe BUT wala ako nung ibang ingredients from your recipe. haven’t done any grocery yet. :D

    instead, i tried it with reduced oyster sauce with brown sugar as dip. then sinamahan ko na din ng blanched brocolli and caulliflower. yum…