Green Bean and Potato Salad

From the story The Happy Forever Community Garden Bears Fruit
by Simona Carini

I grew up in Perugia and at age 21 moved to Milan. I quickly discovered that people there used a different name for familiar foods, like green beans, which I called “fagiolini” (small beans). One evening I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner and my friend’s mother announced that she had made a salad of “cornetti” and potatoes. In my home town “cornetti” are croissants and they are never eaten with potatoes in a salad. The arrival on the table of a bowl full of green beans and sliced boiled potatoes clarified the confusion: in Milan green beans are sometimes called “cornetti” and croissants are called “croissant.”

1 pound green beans, top and tail removed
⅔ pound small potatoes
Olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
A few leaves of fresh mint, minced (optional)

Boil the beans to the desired level of tenderness. Boil the potatoes until tender, let them cool slightly, peel and slice them. Place green beans and potatoes in a bowl and season with salt and a thread of olive oil. Optionally add garlic and mint. Toss delicately and serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a side dish