What do you do when trying to convince someone to take a trip to Paris with you? Invite them over for lunch and make something deliciously French.
I had already been day dreaming over a recipe I had recently found in the New York Times, a variation on the Niçoise salad using potatoes and green beans. It also helped that the universe decided to join in on the conspiracy and have me encounter these at the farmer’s market:
French. Fingerling. Potatoes. Would you ignore the signs? No. And so started the ingredient gathering!
2 pounds medium and small potatoes
salt & pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped anchovy
1 tablespoon chopped capers
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound French beans or wax beans (or a combination of both!)
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (either chives, parsley, or basil)
6 to 8 anchovy fillets
a bunch of arugula
1. In a large pot bring well-salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and bay leaf. I ended up using a combination of French fingerling potatoes and a variety called Nicola (bonus: this variety has the lowest glycemic index of any potato!). I tend to prefer mixing varieties to get a more colorful dish. Potatoes should be boiled for 30 minutes, until they can be easily pierced but are still firm. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. While you have the potatoes on the stove boiling, make the vinaigrette. Peel the garlic cloves and smash into a paste. I used a mortar and pestle, which did the trick, but using the edge of a knife will work just as well. Give the garlic a good mix and sprinkle with salt. In a small bowl stir together the garlic paste, a tablespoon of chopped anchovies, capers, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. I’m a huge fan of bold flavors, and the elements in this vinaigrette combine so well, I promise it will blow your mind.
3. Once the potatoes have cooled remove their peels and cut into 1/4 inch pieces. You can opt to keep the skins intact, if you prefer. Place the potatoes in a shallow bowl, season with salt & pepper, and dress with half of the vinaigrette (which made need an additional whisking, if it has separated). Gently coat the potatoes. Cover and set aside.
4. Trim the beans, simmer in salted water for about 3 to 4 minutes. Cool under running cold water and pat dry. Coat with the remaining half of the vinaigrette and set aside.
5. Boil the eggs to your liking. I love a soft-centered yolk, which takes about 8 minutes. If you’re into hard-boiled shoot for 13 minutes. Cool the eggs in cold water, crack, peel, half, and season with salt & pepper.
6. Bring out the plates! Layer each with a bed of arugula. Combine the beans and potatoes. Serve onto plates. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Distribute the eggs, garnish with anchovy fillets. Uncork the wine. Be prepared for your instant trip to France!
What is your favorite french dish??
Original recipe: NYT French Potato and Green Bean Salad