Brown Butter Potato Salad with Lemon and Capers

browned butterSoon potato salad will grace every summer get together, and we thought we’d offer some of our favorite go-to recipes. Some time ago I shared my recipe for a BLT Potato Salad, combining chopped iceberg lettuce, crumbled crispy bacon, mayo and halved cherry tomatoes. That’s a made-up recipe, of course, combining texture and flavors that sound good to me, so back to the drawing board I went, pondering another flavor combination. Why not Brown Butter Potato Salad with Capers and Lemon? Borrowing from the French and Italians, who put this “meuniere” sauce on fish, it just made sense to me to put it on a neutral ingredient like potatoes.

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    Brown Butter Potato Salad with Lemon and Capers




  1. Place cooked, drained potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. To make brown butter, place butter in a skillet on medium heat. Cook until the butter turns light golden brown (not dark brown) and gives off a nutty aroma.
  3. Add the fresh lemon juice capers, and scallions, and stir. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the bowl of cooked potatoes. Toss well. Add salt to taste.


  1. Jef Havlick says

    I was listening to you on Wed, the 25th in CT. (I’m from Cape Cod and listen all the time), and you had a recipe for poatao salad that called for some maple syrup. Would love to make it. Tanks

    • Faith Middleton says

      Jef, glad to have you listening, which you can do online from Cape Cod, where my family lives. Go to and click on listen live or check out The Food Schmooze(R) podcasts. So here’s the thing with potato salad and maple syrup. That was senior contributor Chris Prosperi’s recipe. We were doing a round-robin brainstorm about potato salads, which I continue to make in the winter. Chris is a trained chef with real world sympathies for the home cook. He thinks about balanced flavors when he’s making up a recipe. In this case, he made up a recipe without mayo because he hates mayo. As I recall, he added yogurt or sour cream, which he balanced with a touch of maple syrup to counter the tart factor. In fact, Chris uses maple syrup this way all the time, to even out a pan sauce, in his salad dressings, with mustard to dress up a pork chop, etc. So go for it, Jeff. Join us in having a Winter Picnic, complete with burgers, potato salad of your choosing, and shorts. Happy Holidays! Faith

    • Faith Middleton says

      Andrea, it occurred to me two years ago that I could make potato salad in the winter, because it’s damned good and no one expects it. Now you’ve given me the idea of a Winter Picnic Party. We’ll crank up the heat, turn on the beach music, and serve burgers and this potato salad with brown butter etc. It’s just like any potato salad you’d make, no difference in the serving size. I use red potatoes so I imagine four potatoes per person, then add a few more in case wolves are coming. Start planning your picnic outfit. Happy Holidays! Faith

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