I love, love, love this Potato and Green Bean Salad recipe which was inspired by my friend Diana who was inspired by David Tannis. Diana made it over the Fourth of July, and it was a huge hit with the entire crew. It was so good that I could not stop thinking about it. Yes, it really was that fantastic and am not just saying that. That girl has a knack for making killer salads and this happens to be a favorite. I could have taken the recipe from her but decided it would be more fun to come home and recreate.
I should start out by saying that I am usually a super picky person when it comes to fish and salads with fish in them. Especially when it involves anchovies. I have bad anchovy memories from my childhood so I typically shy away from them. Diana used a paste which was fine but I had a feeling that if I could find white anchovies like the ones I had while dining out in DC, that this recipe would be golden. I found them and it was worth the hunt as well as the dollars. So fresh and delicious. White anchovies have made my childhood nightmares about these little fish go away. They are a bit firmer and pack a very clean taste; not oily, furry or fishy.
This recipe is loaded with Yukon gold potatoes that are cooked just long enough to release a slight crunch when bitten into. You do not want to overcook them as you would for a creamy potato salad. Same goes for the green beans, you want them to snap with each bite and not to be limp. The dressing is bright and refreshing; loaded with garlic, anchovies, and capers along with fresh herbs. Be sure to make the dressing really shine by using a high-quality olive oil, again don’t skimp or I will come after you.
Last but not least add some creamy soft-cooked eggs. They are heavenly when combined with the briny herby dressing. My opinion the eggs really knock this salad recipe out of the park.
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Potato and Green Bean Salad
** serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leave
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 pound green beans, tips removed and cut in half
2 white anchovies, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed into a paste
2 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup good quality virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 large eggs
4 anchovy filets for garnish
1 tablespoon chives or chive flowers for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the thyme and bay leave, along with the potatoes. Cook the potatoes until slightly cooked; about 25 – 30 minutes depending on the size. They will be easily pierced with a fork. I begin testing at 15 minutes. With two minutes left of cooking the potatoes, I add the green beans and slightly blanch.
Remove the potatoes and the green beans with a slotted spoon and place into a colander and rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking. Sit aside. I like to let the potatoes and beans sit for about an hour if I have time to thoroughly dry them as I find the dressing sticks to the ingredients better.
In a small bowl or a mortar mix together the anchovies, garlic, capers, mustard, and vinegar together. Slowly stir in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Place the potatoes and green beans into a serving bowl. Using your hands lightly toss with the vinaigrette.
Bring a medium-sized saucepan full of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook for 7 minutes. Cool the eggs in ice water. I find the easiest way to peel them is to roll the egg on a counter until really cracked and then peel away the shell. Set aside until ready to serve.
Just before serving add the basil and parsley to the potato mixture and lightly toss. Lay the anchovies on top of the salad, then cut the eggs in half and quickly place on top. Sprinkle with chopped chives or chive flowers.