potato salad with summer vegetables and anchovy dressing

for me, when it comes down to it, salad will be the deciding course for whether a restaurant experience is good . . . or distasteful. if it's not flawless-fresh with vivid, engaging bites of textures, then whatever follows will most certainly be a disappointment. i aim for the same salad standards at home too. so that requires three or four market trips a week to toss-up the season's just-picked produce.
       when i found this recipe from jonathan benno (food & wine august 2005) i could tell it would eclipse my salad expectations. and, i wasn't let down. i've been making it every summer since and consider it one of my repertoire's show-stoppers . . . it always gets a wow review from my guests. multiple colors of grape tomatoes and fingerling potatoes makes it even prettier. and garnished with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, this salad puts a palette of color on the table.

ingredients (serves 4)
• 4 ounces yellow wax beans
4 ounces thin green beans
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
12 small fingerling potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped marjoram
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1. in a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the yellow beans until just tender, 3 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a baking sheet and let cool. add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 minutes. using the slotted spoon, add the green beans to the baking sheet. let cool, then pat dry.
2. add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and peppercorns to the boiling water. add the potatoes and simmer over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. drain the potatoes, reserving the garlic cloves. discard the seasonings.
3. meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the anchovies in the milk for 10 minutes. drain the anchovies, then coarsely chop them and transfer to a blender. add the olive oil and the reserved garlic and puree. with the machine on, slowly add the vinegar. scrape the dressing into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and marjoram.
4. slice the boiled potatoes 1/4 inch thick and put them in a large bowl. add half of the anchovy dressing and toss gently. add the yellow and green beans, the cherry tomatoes and the remaining dressing, toss gently and serve.


Michelle Turner said...

Look yummy!

mimi rippee said...

Beautiful! Such a perfect salad for summer. Love the dressing as well. I just might have to add some goat cheese...

Patty Marguet said...

hi mimi . . . a little goat cheese is always a good idea. happy summer cooking,