Alexandre Dumas Potato Salad

James Beard

Author and Educator

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was not only a great playwright and novelist, best known for The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, but was also a great authority on food. His encyclopedic Great Dictionary of Cuisine was published posthumously in 1873. This 19th-century recipe for potato salad is surprisingly simple and contemporary.


  • 4 to 6 good-sized potatoes, preferably the waxy or new type
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives or green onions


Boil potatoes in their skins until you can just pierce them with a knife. Peel while hot, and slice into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the olive oil and white wine. Stir gently to combine. Let the potatoes cool and, just before serving, toss them with vinegar, parsley, chives or green onions, and additional salt if you’d like.


4-6 servings