Years ago, when I was working as the head cook at the art retreat centre up near Georgian Bay and feeding hungry hordes of aggravated artists who spent their days slaying their easels and smudging out bits only to splatter new pieces, this was a favourite salad at the spread. Warm new potatoes, when they are cooked until tender and the flesh splays and the skin breaks, soak up a vinaigrette like nobody's business. I like to keep the acid ratio a bit higher in grain and carb salads in order to avoid an oily overload. The curry powder in this grainy mustard dressing works perfectly -- it's subtle enough not to overpower the delightful simplicity of earthy new potato and crunchy green bean, but it gives it an almost unidentifiable kick. This is one of the recipes that brought the most guests into the kitchen asking: So, about that potato salad, WHAT made it so delicious? I tossed the warm potatoes and the just cooked through green beans with the dressing and then added a lot of chopped cilantro and tossed again, the herbs lose their bite and soften. Dill or parsley would be equally good.
The key to this recipe is to toss the still-warm potatoes with the dressing. They drink it in. The green beans are optional, but they add to the visual appeal of the salad, along with the fresh chopped herbs. Fresh or frozen peas would be a good substitute.
Count on 3 or 4 smallish differently sized new baby potatoes per person
the green beans are more an accent to the dish, so use about a handful and cut into 2 inch pieces
chopped cilantro, parsley or dill
Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water and add 1 tsp of salt and a bay leaf. Lower heat and cook until potatoes can be pierced with a fork and the skins break open. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Just before the potatoes are ready to drain, add the green beans and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until they turn a bright green.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing by whisking together the mustard, lemon juice or cider vinegar, minced garlic, maple syrup and curry powder in a small bowl or jar. Slowly whisk in the oil, until all the ingredients are fully combined.
Drain the potatoes and beans in a colander and shake until the excess water is released. Place in a bowl and toss with the dressing until it is fully absorbed, add the fresh herbs, toss again. Turn out onto a serving platter and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
3 3/4 ounces cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
3 ounces maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced or crushed