6 servings
10 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking, 25 minutes total
All cooks have a few basic recipes that they turn to again and again over the course of a year. Potato and green bean salad is one of mine. I make it different ways depending on the season and my mood. It's very good dressed with just olive oil and lemon juice, but it becomes absolutely superb when bound with homemade Green Goddess. If you're familiar only with the bottled version of this dressing, you must try my recipe, which is based on the original, invented in the 1920s by the great San Francisco chef Victor Hirtzler.

  • 1-1/2 pounds new potatoes
  • >1 teaspoon salt
  • Green Goddess Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 pound green beans

Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 green onions, green parts only
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

1. Cut the potatoes into roughly equal pieces about the size of a small walnut. Place them in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer from the steamer to a large bowl and immediately season with the salt and 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Stir well to combine and set aside.

2. Trim the stem ends of the beans and, if necessary, remove any strings. Steam the beans as you did the potatoes. It will take about 7 minutes for them to become bright green and just barely tender.

3. Add the beans to the potatoes along with just enough more dressing to coat lightly, about 2 tablespoons. (The remaining dressing can be kept in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.) Serve at room temperature. If you refrigerate the salad, bring it to room temperature before serving.

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 1-3/4 cups

Combine the mayonnaise, anchovies, green onions, tarragon, chives, parsley and vinegar in a food processor or blender and process to a rough puree. Or grind with a mortar and pestle. Refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to use.

Excerpted from How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table by Russ Parsons (Houghton Mifflin, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Russ Parsons.