Here is a potato salad with far more flavor than the average supermarket variety. It also takes advantage of summer vegetables. I found some yellow wax beans at the market, along with new potatoes, so in those went. I decided to add some chickpeas, for protein. Fresh mint, lemon zest, and garlic give it extra zing. —Cristina Sciarra
8 small side portions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg yolk, fresh as possible
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
about 1 cup canola oil, or other neutral oil
salt, to taste
5 medium-sized new potatoes
1 pound yellow wax beans
1 14-ounce can chickpeas
1/4 packed cup chopped, fresh mint
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2-1 tablespoon lemon zest
In This Recipe
Add the minced garlic, the egg yolk, the mustard, and the black pepper to a small bowl. Give everything a little stir, to incorporate.
Slowly incorporate the oil in a very thin stream, while constantly beating with a fork or mini whisk. (Add a little oil at a time, waiting until the oil has 'disappeared', before adding more.) The whole process should take about 5 minutes--the mayonnaise will have risen in the bowl and turned a paler yellow. You should also be able to tip the bowl over without the mayonnaise falling out.
Let the mayonnaise rest in the fridge, covered, for at least one hour before use. (This can also be made a night ahead.)
Boil two medium pots of water. Salt one of them generously.
Wash the potatoes, and then set them in a steamer basket, over the unsalted boiling water. (I partially covered the basket with a pot lid, so that only a crack of steam would escape.) Steam the potatoes until a fork goes through them with almost no resistance. (It took mine about 12-15 minutes.) When the potatoes are done cooking, set them on a plate to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, wash and trim the wax beans. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Add the beans to the salted, boiling water, and cook them for about 5 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender. Then, plunge them into the ice water, to stop them from cooking too much. After a minute or so, pull the beans out of the water, and set them on some paper towels to dry. Reserve at least 1/4 cup of the warm bean water!
Empty the chickpeas from the can, and wash them. When they are good and rinsed, add them to a large bowl. Give them a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
By this point, the potatoes should be cool enough to handle. Cut them into chunks or slices, whatever you like. Add them to the large bowl, along with the dried wax beans.
Add 1/4 cup of the garlic mayonnaise to the bowl, along with 1/4 cup of warm bean water. Give everything a good toss to coat. Adjust the mayonnaise/water ratio depending on your preferences.
Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Toss in the lemon zest. Serve the salad warm or room temperature.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.