A garlicky mustard vinaigrette, poured over the potatoes while warm, gives this French-style potato salad great flavor.
French Potato Salad with Dijon and Fines Herbes
SERVES 4 to 6 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS French potato salad should be pleasing not only to the eye but also to the palate. The potatoes (small red potatoes are traditional) should be tender but not mushy, and the flavor of the vinaigrette should permeate the relatively bland potatoes. To eliminate torn skins and broken slices, a common pitfall in boiling skin-on red potatoes, we sliced the potatoes before boiling them. To evenly infuse the potatoes with the garlicky mustard vinaigrette, we spread the warm potatoes on a baking sheet and poured the vinaigrette over the top. Gently folding in fresh herbs just before serving helped keep the potatoes intact. If fresh chervil isn’t available, substitute an additional ½ tablespoon of minced parsley and an additional ½ teaspoon of tarragon. Use small red potatoes measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and threaded on skewer
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1. Place potatoes in large saucepan, add water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to boil over high heat. Add salt, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender and paring knife can be slipped in and out of potatoes with little resistance, about 6 minutes.
2. While potatoes are cooking, lower skewered garlic into simmering water and blanch for 45 seconds. Run garlic under cold running water, then remove from skewer and mince.
3. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain potatoes and arrange in tight single layer in rimmed baking sheet. Whisk oil, minced garlic, vinegar, mustard, pepper, and reserved potato cooking water together in bowl, then drizzle over potatoes. Let potatoes sit until flavors meld, about 10 minutes. ( Potatoes can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours; return to room temperature before serving.)
4. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Combine shallot and herbs in small bowl, then sprinkle over potatoes and gently toss to coat using rubber spatula. Serve.
French Potato Salad with Fennel, Tomatoes, and Olives VEG
If desired, chop 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds and add it to the salad with the parsley.
Omit chervil, chives, and tarragon. Increase parsley amount to 3 tablespoons. Add ½ fennel bulb, sliced thin, 1 cored and chopped tomato, and ¼ cup pitted oil-cured black olives, quartered, to salad with shallots and parsley.
French Potato Salad with Radishes, Cornichons, and Capers VEG
Omit chervil, chives, tarragon, and parsley. Substitute 2 tablespoons minced red onion for shallot. Add 2 thinly sliced red radishes, ¼ cup rinsed capers, and ¼ cup thinly sliced cornichons to salad with onion.
Making French Potato Salad
1.COOK SLICED POTATOES Combine sliced potatoes and salt in large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
2.BLANCH GARLIC While potatoes are cooking, lower skewered garlic into simmering water and blanch for 45 seconds. Run garlic under cold running water,then remove from skewer and mince.
3.POUR DRESSING OVER WARM POTATOES Arrange hot potatoes close together in single layer in rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with dressing and let sit at room temperature until flavors meld, about 10 minutes.
4.ADD HERBS BEFORE SERVING Combine shallot and herbs in small bowl, then sprinkle over potatoes and gently combine using rubber spatula. Serve.