1 hour, plus 24 hours standing time
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds albacore tuna
2 tablespoons Armagnac
1. Crush the peppercorns
by placing them in a thick plastic bag and pounding it with a hammer, mallet or rolling pin.
2. Combine the crushed peppercorns,
salt and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag.
3. Add the tuna
and Armagnac to the bag, shaking to combine. Press out the remaining air, seal and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours, shaking the bag once or twice.
1 clove garlic
1 (2-ounce) can anchovies, drained and bones
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 cup pitted black olives
(Niçoise or Kalamata)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped
1. In a mortar
, crush the garlic and anchovies into a thick paste with a pestle.
2. In a food processor,
place the crushed garlic and anchovies, the capers, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley and process until very smooth. Reserve. Makes 1 cup.
Potatoes and assembly
2 large russet baking
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons crème fraîche
12 whole caper berries
1. Put the potatoes
in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably. Add salt and cold water to cover. Cover the pot and bring the potatoes to a boil.
2. Simmer the potatoes
until almost cooked, 25 to 30 minutes, depending on their size, being careful not to overcook them. The potatoes should be tender enough to allow a fork to be inserted, but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water. Refrigerate until the potatoes are cold, preferably overnight.
3. Remove the peel
and cut the potatoes lengthwise into thin slices, about one-eighth-inch thick, allowing for at least nine slices. Discard any scraps or broken slices. Cut each slice of potato in half crosswise so that you have 18 pieces.
4. Scrape the seasoning
from the gravlax and slice it very thinly, being sure to cut through the grain.
5. Place a piece of potato
on the center of each of six plates, spread a thin smear of crème fraîche over each piece, then layer a piece of gravlax; repeat two more times, ending with gravlax.
6. Garnish each plate
with two whole caper berries and a mound of tapenade. Any leftover tapenade can be refrigerated and used for another purpose.