Potato Beet Salad

In 1992, we took our young children to Grand Cayman island in the Caribbean. As all tourists do there, one day we took a boat out to swim with stingrays at Stingray City, followed by picnic on a beach of a local island.

So, what do I remember from this adventure? The creamy potato and beet salad. As well as fresh conch.

I have no Caribbean cuisine resources, so I decided to just make up the recipe. And it’s good.

What I enjoyed on that tropical beach was a tangy, earthy, creamy mixture of potatoes and beets. And now I can have that again, without the beach.

Potato and Beet Salad

6 medium-sized white potatoes, peeled or not
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cans whole beets, lightly rinsed and well drained
2 shallots, minced
Chives, for serving
Hard-boiled egg halves, optional

Cut the potatoes into fairly uniform 1/2 – 3/4” size cubes. Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Toss in the potato cubes and salt. Cook until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool in the colander.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Whisk until smooth and set aside.

Place the somewhat cooled potato cubes in the bowl with the mayo mixture and stir gently to combine. This allows the potatoes to absorb some of the creamy mixture.

Cube the beets into similar sized cubes as much as is possible, and toss into potato salad. I also let them sit on paper towels until I used them.

then add the shallots and fold in. Pinkness is okay, and will happen, but don’t overstir.

I actually used a ring to make the salad look less than it is – a creamy mess of a salad!

To serve, sprinkle the salad with chives.

Encircle the salad with egg halves, if desired.

I always think potato=based salads need more salt, so serve it as well.

Think of this salad with grilled shrimp, or chicken or sausage… just about anything.

Even beet haters, or people who think they dislike beets would love this salad. There’s nothing not to love!

I know it was almost 30 years ago when we took this vacation, but why do I look alien to myself?!! Who is that??!!!

By Published On: June 25th, 202046 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

46 Comments

  1. popsiclesociety June 25, 2020 at 8:25 AM - Reply

    Wonderful vacation! Happy family 😊☀️
    It’s you still you but another version 😉
    This salad must be super delicious! Combining 2 of my favorite ingredients it definitely must be heaven 😋😋😋
    And so pretty too! Beautiful photos too!

    • chef mimi June 25, 2020 at 12:59 PM - Reply

      Thank you very much! Another version indeed!

  2. What a wonderful memory, stunning salad. So beautiful, I can imagine eating on a terrace overlooking some harbor. Pinned.

    • chef mimi June 25, 2020 at 12:59 PM - Reply

      Thank you, it’s really good. I just wish I could get my hands on some fresh conch.

  3. Ron June 25, 2020 at 11:31 AM - Reply

    Mimi, not only does this look yummy, . We love our it looks smashing as well. We love our potato salads and beets over this way, so this should be a hit on our table.
    I used to go fishing in the Cayman Islands. They were and I suppose still are wonderful. I never spent much time on Grand Cayman, but instead on Little Cayman Island. Thanks for the recipes and memories of some fine fishing trips.

    • chef mimi June 25, 2020 at 12:57 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! It’s beautiful there.

  4. Mary June 25, 2020 at 2:46 PM - Reply

    When I look in the mirror these days I can’t believe what I’ve turned into!! An alien to be sure.
    Now this salad, looks simple but I’ll bet it is a little powerhouse of flavour. Looking forward to making it. Unfortunately I’ve never visited the Caymans but hopefully, in time, it might be able to happen! But, I have eaten conch!!
    Thanks Mimi. :))

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Yeah, I wasn’t kidding when I used the word alien! Isn’t conch wonderful?! My first and only experience. Hopefully we can travel again soon….

  5. Gary June 25, 2020 at 3:37 PM - Reply

    What a wonderful holiday that must have been

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Gary. It definitely was.

  6. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats June 25, 2020 at 4:38 PM - Reply

    I would never have thought this tasty salad originated in the Caribbeans. Live and learn!

    • chef mimi June 25, 2020 at 5:51 PM - Reply

      Oh, it was so good – picnic on the beach. And freshly cooked conch!

  7. An Chi June 25, 2020 at 6:20 PM - Reply

    Stunning looking salad, like a beautiful cake! I should try this soon!

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Thank you! That’s very sweet. Otherwise it just would have looked like a pile of potato salad! Which doesn’t photograph very well 😬

  8. Marcellina June 25, 2020 at 9:35 PM - Reply

    Fabulous photos!! Actually my late mum used to make a Insalata Russa (Russian Salad) that was very similar to this – I loved it so I know this is delicious!

    • chef mimi June 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM - Reply

      When I googled, this salad what somewhat related to Insalata Russia as well as a French Salad Russe, but missing the peas of course. I’ve had the Russian/Eastern European version and it’s really good, in spite of canned peas!

  9. The Gourmet Gourmand June 25, 2020 at 10:31 PM - Reply

    This looks so great! Beets sound like such a unique way to upgrade a potato salad :)

    • chef mimi June 26, 2020 at 7:59 AM - Reply

      Thanks. It really is a wonderful combination.

  10. David Scott Allen June 26, 2020 at 3:05 PM - Reply

    That is BY FAR the most gorgeous and enticing potato salad I have ever seen. I can generally skip potato salad at any event, but I would eat this because I know it is as good as it looks beautiful!

    • chef mimi June 27, 2020 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      It truly does. Thank you!

  11. Fran @ G'day Souffle' June 28, 2020 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    I’m not usually a fan of beets- but this looks spectacular! Do you have any grand kids yet?

    • chef mimi June 28, 2020 at 3:43 PM - Reply

      Yes, I have an almost 3 and almost 6! One of each. I only had daughters, so this one little boy is pretty fascinating. The salad is really good. The beet flavor is mild with all the other ingredients.

  12. Hannah Kaminsky June 28, 2020 at 7:55 PM - Reply

    I do adore beets in any form. This particular incarnation is especially beautiful, and no doubt delicious. Stunning presentation!

    • chef mimi June 28, 2020 at 8:49 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much! The salad is really delicious.

  13. Jeff the Chef June 29, 2020 at 6:50 AM - Reply

    I’ll never forget the first time I looked at an old photo and though, “Oh my God, I was so young!” Sigh. But this salad! I love beets. I’ve never heard of this idea of putting them in a potato salad, but now I can’t wait to try it!

    • chef mimi June 29, 2020 at 6:52 AM - Reply

      Oh good! Glad it appeals to you. It’s so good. Yeah, when I said alien I wasn’t kidding!!!

  14. Laura June 29, 2020 at 5:47 PM - Reply

    Mimi, I love this recipe and the lovely way you plated it really hides how easy it is to make! I do love beets and what a beautiful way to eat them! I can’t wait to give this a try! My daughter and I will love it. Not sure the 2 non-beet-eaters in the house can be swayed, but will give it a try. If not, well, more for us then!

    • chef mimi June 29, 2020 at 5:48 PM - Reply

      Exactly! More to eat! And thank you. I’m trying to be more patient!

  15. Katherine | Love In My Oven June 29, 2020 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    Aw, these photos and this story is so sweet!! Food is always better when there’s a memory that goes along with it. Great looking salad, Mimi!

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Thank you. I think I have memories with most all food, especially when traveling. And they’re always great memories!

  16. Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 30, 2020 at 2:09 AM - Reply

    That dressing sounds scrumptious. Dave does not like pink food so I would have to make this without the beets :)

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      Oh my god, now I’ve heard everything! I have a friend whose husband won’t eat anything shaped like eyeballs. Even peas. But pink food?!!!!!! Hysterical.

  17. David @ Spiced June 30, 2020 at 6:49 AM - Reply

    Using that ring is a fun way to serve potato salad! I’m a little surprised it held it’s shape after the ring was removed. Either way, this is a fun recipe. I love recipes that were inspired by travels, and I’m sure this one brought back fun memories!

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      To be honest, I was too! At the last minute, before lifting the ring, I really panicked. I was wondering if I was supposed to have greased it first? I chilled them for about 15 minutes first, and the ring just lifted off. I need to use them more often! My presentations are often lacking, and sometimes the best food is not the prettiest!

  18. carrietalkingmeals June 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    I’m a HUGE potato salad fan and this recipe with beets sounds amazing and looks beautiful! I’m definitely going to try this!

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 10:43 AM - Reply

      It’s really really good!!!

  19. thatskinnychickcanbake June 30, 2020 at 11:21 AM - Reply

    I love any excuse to eat beets and in a potato salad sounds like a terrific idea!! So pretty, too, compared with the bland appearance of a classic version!

    • chef mimi June 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM - Reply

      They do “pretty” up the salad, but the sweetness and earthiness is a wonderful addition to the potatoes. Hope you try it!

  20. Molly Pisula July 1, 2020 at 7:01 AM - Reply

    Such an interesting salad, Mimi! I love the colors in there, and anything with beets and potatoes is high on my to-eat list. Thanks for sharing!

    • chef mimi July 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM - Reply

      Thank you! It’s really a marvelous combination.

  21. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 2, 2020 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    Mimi, your beet and potato salad reminded my of the Caribbean too. We live a year in Santo Domingo and there was this small restaurant that we used to walk to that made a similar salad called Ensalada Rusa…the only difference being it had hard boiled egg as well. Your photos are outstanding.

    • chef mimi July 2, 2020 at 4:45 PM - Reply

      Oh thank you! Well, that’s not surprising, because when I tried to find an actual recipe, I discovered that this combination is a “cousin” to a Russian salad, and a French salad called Salade Russe. But wasn’t yours mostly peas? That’s what they’ve been in my experience. I bet that was a fun year!

  22. Marcelle July 16, 2020 at 6:14 AM - Reply

    Chef Mimi, we are huge potato salad fans and this earthy recipe with beets added in is going on our menu soon! It really looks very delicious. Thank you for sharing your family vacation photos. Time really does fly, doesn’t it? I don’t see any aliens! :) What a beautiful crew you all are! We sure are missing our big family road trip this summer.

    • chef mimi July 23, 2020 at 7:53 AM - Reply

      Ha! No aliens?!!! I know, this has been a terrible year if you love traveling. And road trips are so much fun.

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