For some reason my older girls remember me making this salad a lot when we lived in Berkeley. It is from New Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree, and it is definitely a family favorite.
It can be served either hot or cold, but Nathalie says, "be sure your vegetables are hot when tossed in the vinaigrette. Hot vegetables absorb flavor quickly, so when they have cooled the flavor is even more enhanced."
Potatoes and Green Beans Vinaigrette
1 pound green beans
2 pounds new potatoes
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as basil or tarragon (optional)
Remove tips and strings from the beans, but leave the beans whole. Boil in salted water to cover until still crunchy, 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and set the color.
Meanwhile, boil whole, unpeeled new potatoes in salted water to cover until done 20-30 minutes. Drain. Make the vinaigrette (see below). While still hot, peel quickly and toss them in half the vinaigrette, adding the herbs if you wish.
If serving warm, stir the green beans with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a saucepan and warm them gently before adding to the potatoes. If serving cold, simply toss the cooked beans with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and gently mix with the potatoes. Drizzle the remaining dressing over all, and serve either lukewarm or cold.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the oil into the vinegar, mustard, and garlic; add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
Julie's Notes: I usually cut the new potatoes in half, depending on their size.