Fresh potatoes, cucumbers and herbs from the garden (or farmer’s market for the city folks!) with delicate, fragrant tarragon will transport you to the south of France. Oh, tarragon, you magical thing. And with simple ingredients like this, you can celebrate summer long after the kids have gone back to school. Or dream about that trip to France…More, please!
I think all potato dishes should be endless. I could boil up five pounds “to have leftovers for home fries” and there would be nothing left. Ever. I never leave a potato unattended. Or uneaten! So when the editors at Food52 were looking for recipe testers, I knew this was the recipe for me! This dish is adapted from this Food52 recipe.
6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into rounds
3 large cucumbers, sliced into ribbons
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1-2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, minced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounce jar pimentos, drained and chopped
Most people have their own particular way of making potato salad. We all have our preferences: fresh dill! tiny red potatoes! tangy vinegar! creamy mayo! It’s quite a personal thing. So I decided to try someone else’s favorite kind and it tasted just like summer!
Using a mandoline for the potatoes and cucumbers made this quite easy and quick. But cutting thin slices by hand would be fine too.
Using a mandoline or julienne tool, slice until you get to the seeds and place the cucumber ribbons in a colander over a bowl. Salt them and toss to cover. Let the cucumbers sit to sweat out the water and save the water for the dressing. (Note: The cucumbers yielded about 1/3 cup of water after sitting for about an hour but less time is fine. You don’t want the salad to be too wet. You can always add more oil to the dressing if necessary.)
Fill a large pot with cold water and begin slicing the potatoes. (Note: Always place potatoes in cold water before boiling or they risk coming out mealy.) Salt the water as it begins to boil.
While the potatoes are heating, mince the shallots, herbs and pimentos. (Note: Tarragon is a distinctive herb. If you really enjoy the flavor, add the extra tablespoon. It’s up to you.) You could easily substitute roasted red peppers for the pimentos here.
Drain the potatoes and rinse with cool water. Set them aside in the refrigerator to cool.
Gather the dressing ingredients. (Note: The recipe calls for a blender but the old fashioned method of whisking in the olive oil is fine too.) Add the vinegar, cucumber water, mayo, mustard, shallots and herbs. Mix together well and begin to whisk in the olive oil, slowly until it emulsifies.
Once cool, gently add the cucumbers to the potatoes in a large bowl. Slowly fold in the dressing, add a few grinds of fresh pepper and add the pimentos. You may need to use your hands to incorporate everything.
The cucumbers add summery sweetness and crunch to the tangy and creamy dressing. The pimentos add color and a touch more sweetness to this delicate herbal potato salad. There is a lot to love here and most of it can be picked right out of your summer garden. Enjoy!