Is That Phallic-Looking Potato a Dictator?
I’ve been wistful this week, thinking about my fam and the kinds of laughter that would only appear when all of us were together. The kind that makes you cry like a fool and wheeze, you can’t even get it out. Around the time that my little sister was first getting to know my then boyfriend-now husband, she laid some strict rules on him to be accepted into the family (all of this according to her alone, by the way). The most important one of the three (which I remember also included him doing a jump kick and possibly joining Facebook?) was to say something so ridiculously funny to her, she’d break out into silent laughter. It turned out this wasn’t much of a challenge given that my husband tends to be fucking hilarious the majority of the time, but I loved that my sister’s request was so telling of what was so very prized to her and to all of us in the fam. My husband completed a crew that has always (and will always) appreciate the times where we all get to do nothing but chill – I’m talking a backyard feast with plenty of grey goose, barbecue or blue crabs, farmer’s market produce gifted to my dad for playing music for the vendors, and an inordinate amount of stupid puns.
Summer usually meant string beans and there’d typically be a potato around, along with some burn-your-fucking-nasal-passages-style French dijon, so this salad made for simple cooking with plenty of time in between for drinking. And as for the jokes, they were usually bad. I mean, completely awful. Like this one that I adore, from the hubs, which I am pretty sure was passed on from his father…
Q: What do you call a field of masturbating cows?
A: Beef Stroganoff
Potato Salad with Lemon Tarragon Aioli and Haricots Verts
2 cl. of garlic, minced
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
4 tbs. of chopped tarragon
2 tbs. of chopped parsley
1 tsp. of dijon mustard
1/4 c. of olive oil
1/4 c. of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. of haricots vert or string beans, snipped of stems
3 lbs. of fingerling potatoes, halved
chopped chives (garnish)
Begin by making the aioli. Add the garlic, egg, lemon, zest, tarragon leaves and mustard to a blender. Blitz on high and slowly stream in the oil. Turn off blender and taste for salt and pepper. The aioli should be pretty loose and not as thick as a traditional mayonnaise, so thin with additional olive oil if necessary. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt heavily. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and cool with running water. While the water is still boiling, plunk in the haricot verts and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and cool with running water. Add chilled potatoes and green beans to a large bowl and set aside.
Pour the aioli over the vegetables. Toss and chill for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.