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Makes 6 servings
James Carrier

How to Make It

Step 1

Scrub potatoes and put in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Add enough water to barely cover potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 40 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, rinse watercress, drain, and discard discolored or bruised leaves and stems. Pinch off 1 to 2 cups leaves, wrap in a towel, enclose in a plastic bag, and chill. Finely chop remaining watercress, including stems.

Step 3

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, combine shallots, vinegar, mustard, sugar, and tarragon. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Drain cooked potatoes; when just cool enough to touch, in 10 to 15 minutes, pull off skins and discard. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch chunks and put in a bowl. Stir in shallot mixture. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and chopped watercress; mix, and season to taste with salt. For a more moist salad, add additional sour cream or up to 1/4 cup broth and mix gently.

Step 5

Scrape salad into a serving bowl and garnish with chilled watercress leaves.

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