Crab and Potato Salad with Herb-Caper Pesto (Insalata Pantesca)

(adapted from Chef Sarah Grueneberg's recipe)
Course Appetizer, Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes peeled
  • Sea salt
  • ½ cup loosely packed basil leaves plus more to garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup almonds toasted, plus more to garnish
  • ¼ cup salt-cured capers rinsed, plus more to garnish
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound pasteurized crab meat picked through
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes preferably heirloom, halved or quartered
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ pitted Castelvetrano or other Mediterranean olives halved


  1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and season with 1 tablespoon sea salt. Add cold water to cover by one inch.
  2. Over medium heat, bring the water to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just tender (avoid overcooking; they should have a bit of resistance). Remove potatoes, cool and slice in wedges or half-inch rounds.
  3. In a blender bowl, combine the basil, tarragon, parsley, almonds and capers with 1/3 cup olive oil. Blend until pureed but a bit chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the crab and tomatoes with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix the potatoes with the pesto. Arrange on a platter or individual plates. Spoon the dressed crab and tomatoes on top. Garnish with basil leaves, olives, almonds, capers fried in olive oil and a few grindings of black pepper.