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August, 2013

Marseille-Style Tarragon and Parsley Potato Salad
By Heidi Allison

In this rendition, the amount of mayo traditionally used has been reduced by one-third, and, this dish is further lightened-up by substituting just enough nonfat Greek yogurt so a hint of tanginess is imparted, yet, the texture remains rich and creamy.

TarragonThis lightened-up, herbed potato salad is an homage to the type of potato salad served in Marseille: Garlicy, lemony and creamy--with heady dose of fresh, chopped garlic, tarragon and parsley, and, lots of cracked, black pepper. In this rendition, the amount of mayo traditionally used has been reduced by one-third, and , this dish is further lightened-up by substituting just enough nonfat Greek yogurt so a hint of tanginess is imparted, yet, the texture remains rich and creamy. It’s the fresh herbs, garlic and lemon that grabs your attention in this dish—not mayo. A great side to add to your summer grilling repertoire: fabulous with grilled fish, poultry and smoked meats.

There are several culinary tricks that ensure success: steam the potatoes (do not boil), marinate the potato rounds in freshly squeezed lemon juice overnight, and add fresh herbs to the garlicky, lemony-flavored aioli right before serving. And, adding the flavor of celery, in one form or another, is essential to the flavor profile of the finished dish: celery is the secret ingredient makes the tarragon taste more like quintessential tarragon and at the same time more than tarragon. If you do not have celery salt, use chopped celery and celery leaves instead—it’s that important.

Other important steps: allow the potatoes cool in their own skins before peeling, which maintains the requisite creamy, yet slightly firm texture that is so important to this genre of side: French potato salad should never be “mushy” or “grainy”. Infusing a lemon flavor into the bland potato is yet another ingenious French culinary technique: sliced potato rounds are marinated in fresh lemon juice (8 hours minimum ; best overnight) before being dressed in the garlicky, lemon-flavored aioli. This potato salad is finished with a sprinkling of smoked sea salt, a grating of fresh lemon zest, and a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper just before serving.

Marseille-Style Tarragon and Parsley Potato Salad
Serves: 4

Ingredients
:
2 pounds plus 3 ounces Yellow Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 5 large, or, 10 small)
2 juicy Meyer Lemons
½ cup plus 1/8 cup Good-Quality Mayonnaise
1/8 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt (I recommend Fage Yogurt)
Zest of ½ Lemon
1 teaspoon Tarragon Dijon Mustard (Moutarde Verte A L’Estragon )
1 large clove Garlic, peeled, smashed and minced (about 1.5 rounded tsp.)
½ teaspoon Celery Salt
1/3 cup chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
1 small bunch Tarragon, leaves only, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
Sprinkling of Smoked Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Lemon zest

Preparation:
Rinse potatoes and place in steamer basket in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium; then steam for about 22 minutes, or, until almost tender in center when pierced with a knife tip or bamboo skewer. Keep covered and allow potatoes to cool to room temperature in steamer basket (about 2 hours) ; then peel and roughly slice potatoes into ¼ inch rounds.

Place sliced potatoes into a large, freezer ziplock bag and pour the juice of 2 lemons over potatoes. Toss and place in the refrigerator overnight to marinate.

In a large bowl, place mayo, Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, tarragon Djion mustard, celery salt and gently mix with a whisk to incorporate into mayo/yogurt mixture. Add chopped parsley and tarragon and fold into mayo/aioli mixture. Remove lemon marinated potatoes from bag and gently fold into lemon, garlic aioli mixture.

Plate; then top potato salad with a final sprinkling of fresh chopped tarragon and parsley, smoked sea salt, a grating of lemon zest and few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper. Best served chilled.

Notes from the Author:
Keeps for 1 week. Try adding a bit of grated, fresh horseradish for change in taste.

Marseille-Style Tarragon and Parsley Potato Salad