From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Grill-Roasted Pork Loin
French potato salad is served warm or at room temperature and is composed of sliced potatoes glistening with olive oil, white wine vinegar, and plenty of fresh herbs. We wanted a potato salad that was not only pleasing to the eye but to the palate as well. The potatoes should be tender but not mushy, and the flavor of the vinaigrette should penetrate the relatively bland potatoes but not be oily or dull.
We learned the hard way that to prevent torn skins and broken slices, we had to slice the potatoes before boiling them. To tone down the flavor of harsh garlic, we blanched it before mixing the vinaigrette. A little extra vinegar—more than we would normally call for in a vinaigrette—added a pleasing sharpness, while some reserved potato water added just the right amount of moisture and saltiness to the salad. Dijon mustard combined with strong herbs also perked things up. Tossing the vinaigrette with the cooked potatoes led to mangled, shabby slices, but pouring the vinaigrette over the warm potatoes on a sheet pan, then folding in the other ingredients, kept the potato slices intact.
Serves 6 as a side dish
If fresh chervil isn’t available, substitute an additional 1/2 tablespoon of minced parsley and an additional 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon. For best flavor, serve the salad warm, but to make ahead, follow the recipe through step 2, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature, then add the shallots and herbs.