The varieties of potato salads are endless. Some are light and fresh, others tangy and vinegary with chunks of cornichon, some are heavy on the mustard seeds, other the mayo. Everyone has a favorite. I never turn down potato salad; I have to try them all.
This general understanding is what brought me to my latest creation. This past summer I was lucky enough to be invited to an out of this world, celebratory, indulgent, week long vacation in Normandy with cherished old friends. We stayed at a chateau…yes I am still pinching myself. There was an abundance of good food…it was one of those experiences where everything simple just tasted better. The bread, the brie, the saucisson, the wine…and apparently the potato salad. One of the nights we stayed in and cooked. Grilled meats, roasted veggies – charcuterie, olives and cheese were plentiful, as were fresh crusty baguettes. And then there was this simple potato salad with the tiniest potatoes I’d ever seen. It was lemony and chivy, a little creamy and gone way to quickly. I never got the recipe – perhaps there wasn’t even one, perhaps it was the creation of whim.
Though potato salads are a thing of the summer, I recently I saw these same potatoes in the grocery store and knew what I had to do with them.
Three Herb Aioli Teeny Tiny Potato Salad PRINT RECIPE
[Prep: 10 / Cook: 15 / TOTAL: 25 minutes]
[makes about 1 cup aioli and 6 side servings of potato salad]
Start out by washing the teeny tiny potatoes thoroughly under cold water. We will wait to cut them until after they have been cooked. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with cold water until just covered. Salt water generously [at least 1 teaspoon], put on high heat and cover. It should come to a boil after 4 minutes. As soon as this happens lower heat to medium and leave uncovered simmering for 10 minutes. You can check for doneness by piercing the potatoes with the point of a paring knife, it should slide in easily. If you think they are ready, it’s always a good idea to do a taste test first.
While the potatoes are coming to a boil, incorporate the peeled and quartered shallot, half of the chives, half of the parsley,1 cup olive oil, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of salt in a small food processor. Blend for 30 seconds.
Now add to the food processor, 2 tablespoons of tarragon vinegar, lemon juice [from one of the lemons], cracked pepper and mustard and blend for 30 seconds. This combination will make an aioli. The longer you blend the thicker it will become. You can always thin it out with some water. This step can also be done by hand. You would whisk together all of the ingredients except for the oil. Once the mixture is well combined, add the olive oil, dribbling it in slowly while whisking the egg yolk and vinegar mixture. The aioli should start to form as the yolk soaks up the oil.
When the potatoes are finished remove them from the heat and pour into a colander placed in the sink. Let the potatoes rest in the sink until they are cool enough to handle. If you’re tight on time, you can run cold water over them for 1 minute so they are cool enough to handle faster.
Cut the potatoes into ½ inch rounds. Pour juice from the second lemon, 1 tablespoon of tarragon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt over the potatoes, mix and let sit for a few minutes. Add the aioli and the chopped parsley and chives, toss well. Taste and season with sea salt or fresh cracked pepper – and enjoy!
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