Ari's Picks

Warm Walnut, Potato, and Tuna Salad

A lovely mid-February meal to make in minutes

As anyone who lives here already knows, when we hit the middle of winter in this part of the world, we have limited amounts of local produce to work with. (There is though, I’m happy to say, there’s a lot more to be had than there was back when I first read Stewardship in 1993). Still, with just a bit of creativity and some good raw materials, there are still all sorts of tasty dishes to put together. This is one I’ve made more than a few times in the last couple months! It’s great for a main course, a side dish, or even served with scrambled eggs at brunch. And, it’s super easy to put together!

overhead view of a jar of mustard and a jar of tuna on top of mini yukon gold potatoes One of the keys to the dish is the magically wonderful Walnut Mustard we get from the folks at Domaine de Terre Rouge in France. Smooth, with a nice spicy nose, and a bunch of walnuts blended smoothly into the mix. It’s great on pretty much anything and it really takes this salad to another level.

To make the dish, cook up some small heirloom potatoes in well-salted water til they’re tender. When they’re done—tender to the fork—take them out and break them into halves or quarters depending on their size. I go for pieces about the size of a quarter, but you can do it as you like. Sprinkle on a little sea salt, a small bit of good champagne or white wine vinegar, and enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the potatoes. For tuna, I’m a big fan of the Ortiz Yellowfin, but any of the high-quality tunas we have will work well, as will good sardines or mackerel. (I find the Yellowfin to be more flavorful than the better-known Bonito, aka, Albacore.) Spoon on a generous amount of the Walnut Mustard to taste. Add a handful of toasted walnuts—as you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the beautiful and tasty California Red Walnuts we have at the Deli. I like to leave them whole so that they keep a meaningful textural presence in the dish. Add some freshly ground (really good) black pepper and some chopped fresh parsley and blend gently.

I like the Walnut, Potato, and Tuna salad warm—a bit over room temperature. It’s perfectly good if you keep it overnight in the fridge as well. You can also, if you want it a bit creamier, add some mayonnaise or yogurt. If you like the mustard as much as I do, add a spoonful atop the salad when you serve!

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