Italian Fast-Day Potato Salad, with Tuna, Hard-cooked Eggs, Asparagus
- 1 pound fingerling, Yukon Gold, or Red Bliss Idaho®potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1 bunch tender asparagus in season
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 can (6-1/2 ounces) imported Italian tuna, preferably blue fin, packed in olive oil, drained and gently flaked
- 2 tablespoons thinly slivered red onion, soaked in cold water and drained
- 1 tablespoon small capers, drained and rinsed in cold water
- 2 organic egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon or to taste, fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup safflower or grape seed oil mixed with 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- finely ground white pepper to taste
- *Note: All the ingredients and equipment used for making the mayonnaise must be at room temperature.
- Put the unpeeled potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and cut them crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. If using Red Bliss, there is no need to peel.
- In the meantime, place the eggs in a saucepan with cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook them for a total of 15 minutes from the time they are placed on the stove. Drain and shell them while they are still warm so that they will slip out of their shells easily, then allow to cool before cutting crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices.
- Remove the tough lower stalk of the asparagus. Fill another saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, then the asparagus. Boil, uncovered, until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water, and set aside. It is best if they are still warm when dressed.
- In a salad bowl, preferably of clear glass, layer first the potatoes, then the tuna, onion, asparagus, and eggs in that order, spooning a little mayonnaise on each layer before arranging the next one. Spoon more mayonnaise on top and scatter with the capers. Serve warm, or within 2 hours of preparing.
- Put the egg yolks and half the salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until they are pale yellow and a thick, creamy consistency.
- Add the combined oils drop by drop, beating constantly. Stop adding the oil every few seconds while you continue beating until you see that the oil already added has been absorbed completely by the egg yolks. It is crucial not to add too much oil at once or the mayonnaise will not emulsify. Turn off the mixer occasionally and use a rubber spatula to scrape the inside so that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and absorbed. Continue adding the oil in a thread, beating all the while, until the mixture becomes quite thick. Add the remaining salt, lemon juice, mustard and pepper. Blend to combine thoroughly. Check for salt. Use immediately, or cover and chill. Homemade mayonnaise will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
- **Note: If the mayonnaise separates, bring the broken mayonnaise and other ingredients to room temperature. Break one yolk into a mixing bowl and whisk in the broken mayonnaise tablespoon by tablespoon until the mixture is cohesive, then add in a bit of the vegetable or olive oil, or whichever oil you used for the recipe, to set the mayonnaise.