Most people think of potatoes as a winter food, but I love them when they are young and thin skinned in the summer. We planted trench upon trench of potatoes in the spring and in the past few weeks have started harvesting new potatoes. Most people think that new potatoes are just small, red potatoes, but genuine new potatoes are harvested in the summer and have such delicate skins that you can rub them off. These potatoes are the ones you want use in your summer cookout potato salad or throw in a crab or shrimp boil.
In general, I like all types of potato salad, but in the past few years have started to favor ones with a mustardy vinaigrette as the base, instead of mayo. My current incarnation uses large chunks of potatoes, lightly blanched snap beans, and fava beans. This salad bridges the early summer produce (favas) and high summer produce (beans) and uses up all of those bits of green herbs you have. Scallions, parsley, basil, and cilantro are all welcome additions here. If you do not have any favas, fresh (or frozen) lima beans or butter beans would be tasty.
New Potato Salad
2 pounds new potatoes, cubed in largish chunks
3/4 -1 pound fava beans (pre-shelling weight), shelled
1/2 pound snap beans, green or yellow or a mix of both
2 large scallions or 1/2 of a small sweet onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, grated on a microphone or mince very finely
1.5 tbsp whole grain mustard
4 tbsp (or to taste) red wine or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
handful of parsley, basil. cilantro, or other fresh green herbs, chopped fine
Place the cubed potatoes in cold water with a handful of salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. When tender, scoop potatoes out from the pot, reserving the water. Bring the water back up to a boil and blanch the snap beans for maybe 30-60 seconds, scoop out from water and plunge into an ice bath or run under cold water. Drain and set aside. Bring the blanching water back up to a boil again and blanch the favas. Drain the favas when they are tender and pop then out of their skins.
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the potatoes, beans, favas, and onion and stir to coat. Fold in the chopped herbs and serve warm or cold.