1/4 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
800 g small yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
50 g green beans, trimmed, cut crosswise into halves or thirds
6 large eggs
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 of a medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup snipped chives
2/3 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup tarragon leaves
1/3 cup dill
2 garlic cloves, put through a press or minced
2 teaspoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 Milk-Up jar Sour Cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pickle the shallots:
In a small jar, combine the shallot, salt, and enough vinegar to barely cover the shallot. Put a lid on the jar and shake to dissolve the salt. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
Prepare the salad ingredients:
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 5cm of water. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then cook until the potatoes are tender but still holding a shape, 8-12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the potatoes out of the water and drain, reserving the water. Let the potatoes cool completely (you can run them under cool water to speed this up).
Add the green beans to the boiling water and simmer until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain the green beans (you can save the cooking liquid to use as vegetable stock if you like) and rinse them with cool water to stop the cooking (or put in an ice water bath).
Place the eggs in the now-empty saucepan and cover of cool water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5-6 minutes (5 if you like a softer yolk, 6 if you want the yolk a bit more firm but still custardy, as pictured here). Drain the eggs and add ice and cool water to the pot to stop the cooking. Let stand 10 minutes, then peel and rinse the eggs and cut into halves or quarters.
Make the dressing:
In a food processor, combine the herbs, garlic, capers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and Sour Cream, and blend until just smooth. Blend in the lemon juice. Taste, adding more lemon or salt if you feel the dressing needs it. You will have about 1 cup.
Make the salad:
Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl. Add the green beans, cucumber, fennel, 1/2 cup of the dressing, and a good grind of black pepper. Toss together gently to combine, then drain the pickled shallots and toss them into the salad along with the chives, and more dressing if you like. Toss the eggs into the salad or place them atop the salad when you serve it up
Serve the salad right away, or chill for up to a day or two to meld the flavours. The salad looks prettiest freshly made when the dressing is bright green, but the flavour improves after a bit of time in the fridge.