WRITTEN ON July 28th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Bacon, Beans, Potato, Salads, Side Dish

The summer after I graduated from college, I took off on a backpack tour with my friend Katie.  We hit most of the major cities in Western Europe, including the lovely city of Munich, where we drank beer in steins bigger than our heads and grew increasingly impressed by the larger than life women who delivered five steins per hand to the rowdy beer hall crowds.  This was not the only thing I remember about Munich of course.  The glockenspiel, the bright, happy red geraniums, the friendly people (who all thought I was a local…must be the blond hair and round, red cheeks) and the gingerbread-like cottages dotting the hillsides made me feel like I’d died and gone to Bavarian heaven.  Oh, and one more thing I’ll never forget.  The best potato salad in the world.  It was warm and mustardy with a hint of vinegar and bacon.  Walking through the Greenmarkets the other day I came across some cheerful looking baby red potatoes and had a craving I couldn’t ignore (I find that it’s counter-productive to ignore cravings. They don’t go away and then you just become a slave to them.  My strategy is to just feed the beast and move on).  Since it’s the middle of summer and the produce is nothing short of glorious, I added some local green and wax beans and fragrant chives.  Serve it with grilled pork tenderloin or chicken legs. And don’t forget the beer.

Summer Potato Salad

Summer Potato Salad

Bacony Bean and Potato Salad (serves 4 as a side dish)
15 baby red potatoes
½ lb each fresh green and wax beans, trimmed
3 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into thin ½ inch strips
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
In a pot of well salted cold water, add potatoes (water should cover them by no more than an inch) and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cook potatoes through until they slide off of a knife inserted in center, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.  While the potatoes are cooking, heat grill to medium high heat. Grill beans until cooked but still crisp, with a nice char on the skin. Cut beans into thirds.  Cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp, remove to paper towels.  Reserve 1 tbsp of drippings.  Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters.  Combine mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Slowly add olive oil in a stream, whisking to create a vinaigrette.  Add bacon drippings.  In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together with the vinaigrette.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, enjoy!

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