Yukon Gold Potato Salad With Tarragon Pesto and Pickled Onions Recipe

A quick and easy potato salad in a pesto-like tarragon dressing. 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.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 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)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved black olives, such as Kalamata


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

Special equipment

Blender, immersion blender, or food processor

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