The first time I saw a bowl of potato salad, at a summer barbecue in my Uncle Chick's backyard, I looked straight into My Sainted Mother's eyes and demanded an explanation.
"Why is it white?" I whined. "And what happened to the string beans?"
"This is different," mom said scooping a bit of the colorless mass onto my plate, the plate that was filled with bright roasted red peppers and charred fatty Italian sweet sausages hot off the grill. "Try some, it's good."
And so another favorite food was discovered. I like potato salad a lot, eat it alongside burgers all the time. Hell, give me a bowl of the German style, a loaf of pumpernickel bread, and a quiet spot where I can be alone and I am all set, thank you very much.
But the "potato salad" that I first knew as a boy, the one that my Italian-American mother prepared beautifully (and regularly), is still the best, I think. Not that the comparison makes the slightest bit of sense, mind you. After all, we are talking about a string bean salad.
You following me here?
Good. Because it's a perfect summer salad, especially welcome at outdoor cooking events. Oh, and it's a total no-brainer to prepare.
You get yourself a mess of string beans. (These are from my garden but store bought work just fine.)
Boil the beans, and a couple of diced potatoes, until tender. After they've cooled a bit put them in a mixing bowl and add some sliced red onion, a diced garlic clove, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Then just mix it all up and you are done.
Some people like string bean & potato salad cold from the fridge, others at room temperature. I like it either way.
No matter what it's called.