Yukon Gold Potato Salad With Tarragon Pesto and Pickled Onions

A quick and easy potato salad in a pesto-like tarragon dressing. [Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

This simple pesto-like tarragon sauce has bright, clean flavors, and is delicious as a dressing for potato salad.

Why this recipe works:

  • Adding salt and vinegar to the potato cooking water not only seasons the potatoes deeply, but the vinegar also prevents them from falling apart as they cook.
  • Tempering the tarragon with parsley allows the tarragon flavor to come through without it being overwhelming.

Note: Espelette pepper powder is available at specialty food stores. You can also substitute a very small pinch of cayenne pepper.

Yukon Gold Potato Salad With Tarragon Pesto and Pickled Onions

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4 as a side dish
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:Blender, immersion blender, or food processor
This recipe appears in: Pesto Chango: Try This Simple Tarragon Pesto on Potato Salad


  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more for covering the onion
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup picked tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch espelette pepper powder (see note above)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved black olives, such as Kalamata


  1. 1

    Place potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, and 3 cups tepid water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until salt is dissolved. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook until potatoes are completely tender and show no resistance when poked with a paring knife or cake tester, about 17 minutes. Drain potatoes and allow to cool to warm room temperature, about 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, add onion to a medium bowl and add just enough vinegar to cover. Let stand until onion is tender and lightly pickled, about 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Using a blender, immersion blender, or food processor, blend tarragon, parsley, garlic, and oil until well pureed. Mix in espelette pepper and season with salt and pepper.

  4. 4

    Drain onions. In a serving bowl, toss potatoes with tarragon pesto, onions, and olives, and serve.


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