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French Green Bean and Potato Salad
adapted from a recipe by David Tanis that originally appeared in the New York Times
2 pounds baby potatoes (red, white, and purple)
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 large thyme sprig
3 garlic gloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
1 tablespoon chopped anchovy
1 tablespoon chopped capers
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound small French beans
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons roughly chopped basil
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme spring. Cook at brisk simmer until the potatoes are firm but easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, stir together the garlic, anchovy, capers, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk again before using if the dressing separates.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut into pieces 1/4-inch thick, leaving the skins on. Put the slices in a low bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, and add half the vinaigrette. Using your hands, gently coat the potatoes with the vinaigrette, taking care not to break them. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
Top and tail the beans. Simmer in salted water until firm-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, then cool under running water and pat dry.
To cook the eggs, bring a medium pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the eggs and cook for 9 minutes for a firm yolk. Cool the eggs immediately in ice water, then crack and peel. Cut each egg in half and season lightly with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, season the beans with salt and pepper, then dress with the remaining vinaigrette.
Combine the dressed beans and potatoes, using hands to toss, and pile into a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with basil and arrange the eggs on top.
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