Summer Potato Salad with Green Beans, Corn, Lemon, and Olive Oil

Summer Potato Salad with Green Beans, Corn, Lemon, and Olive Oil

This is potato salad at its best, brimming with fresh, summery flavors and not at all gloppy or cloying (which, let’s face it, potato salad can be). A little sweet from the corn, a little tart from the lemon—plus a touch of tarragon—it’s all-around delicious. For more about what makes it so good, see these tips for terrific potato salad.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 3/4 pounds red or white creamer or boiling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 large ear of corn
  • 2 cups cut green beans (1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces), ideally haricot verts (thin, French-style green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (see note)

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or small stockpot, cover with water by 1 inch, and stir in enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean (about 1 tablespoon of coarse kosher salt per quart). Bring to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, cut the kernels from the corn and set them aside. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the colored part of the peel from the lemons. Cut the peel crosswise into tiny matchsticks and set aside. Squeeze the lemons and set the juice aside.

Once the potatoes come to a boil, reduce to a simmer. They should be 4 or 5 minutes from perfectly tender—if not, continue cooking until they are, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they're a minute from being tender, 3 to 4 minutes (or 2 minutes for haricot verts). Add the corn kernels and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 1 minute. Drain the vegetables and transfer them to a large bowl. Stir in 3/4 of the lemon peel, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tarragon and additional salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste (save any remaining lemon juice for another use). Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and serve.

NOTE Parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint would also be nice.