One Potato, Two Potato

Garlic and Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Comedian Jimmy Durante came up with the catch phrase, "I got a million of them," and it became so popular that when he was working with Looney Toons™ it actually became one of Bugs Bunny's favorite lines. Well, when it comes to "a million of them," that's how I feel about potato salads.

Sure, I have a few stock potato salads that I make over and over again from the classic Southern-style with mustard, egg and pickle relish to a hot and sour German version with lots of crispy bacon and onions. One of my favorite ways to make potato salad is one that I came up with several years back that includes green beans, cherry tomatoes, an arugula pesto and plenty of fresh basil and Greek olives and the other day, when Mr. B spent the better part of the morning brining a chicken and potato salad was on the menu, that's the one I was planning to make.

But, of course, I had no basil; I had no Greek olives; I had no arugula pesto. Quite simply put, I had none of the ingredients to make the potato salad I had planned on, so I went with Plan B: make something up. What I devised is this simply delicious, unfussy and perfectly balanced potato salad. As you can see, I made good use of my green beans and cherry tomatoes, but there is where all similarities end.

This potato salad is a definite keeper and will get put into my summer rotation. Mr. B, between 'oohs and ahhs' knew precisely what to ask me: "Did you write this recipe down?"

Here it is...

*The secret to this recipe is Mr. B's Garlic oil that he whips up for me and that I keep tucked in the fridge. This versatile oil is one of the foundations of my summer cooking and I use it to season everything from grilled vegetables and meats to drizzling it over toasted bread or sliced tomatoes. It's simple to make; peel one entire clove of garlic and chop the toes into coarse pieces. Put the garlic into a small saucepan with 1-2 cups of olive oil and heat to a simmer. Allow the oil to simmer for about 20 minutes and then cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

Garlic and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

12 small to medium new potatoes, scrubbed, quartered and then halved into equally sized pieces
6 ounce fresh green beans, trimmed and lightly steamed
3/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion,thinly sliced
1 bunch of green onions, green tops only, thinly sliced
5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
garlic olive oil
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce heat slightly; cook until potatoes are tender.
2. Immediately drain potatoes and place them in a large bowl.
3. Dress them with the garlic oil and pieces of garlic until they are generously coated.
4. Add the beans, tomatoes, red onion and green onion and mix thoroughly.
5. Add enough plain olive oil so that the potatoes are evenly dressed, but not swimming in the oil.
6. Allow to cool, at room temperature, for 30-45 minutes.
7. Add crumbled blue cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve at room temperature.

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