The classic French nicoise salad gets an American picnic twist. Buy the best tuna you can find for this salad; its prominent flavor shines through, enhanced by the gentle anise notes of tarragon and brightened by good white wine vinegar.
|1 small shallot, minced||2 teaspoons Dijon mustard|
|2 teaspoons fresh minced tarragon||Freshly ground black pepper|
|3 tablespoons white wine vinegar||1/2 cup olive oil|
|2 pounds red potatoes||1 can Italian oil-packed tuna, drained|
|1 tablespoon kosher salt|
Whisk the shallot and tarragon into the vinegar and reserve; the vinegar will soften and mellow the taste of the raw shallots.
Clean and cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes, and place in a 4-quart stockpot.
Cover with water by a few inches and add the salt. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer uncovered for about 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender enough to be pierced with the tip of a knife but not soft enough to fall apart. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and reserve.
While the potatoes cool, whisk the Dijon mustard and black pepper into the vinegar, then slowly whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream until a thick dressing forms.
Toss the potatoes with the tuna and half the dressing, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld. Toss with the remaining dressing before serving.
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