Real Food for Real Life

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A potato salad time of year...

Potato and Green Bean Salad 
with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Summer is the season for potato salad, and there have been an abundance of them in the food blogs and magazines as of late.  While I like all sorts of these salads, my preference is for those that don't use much (if any) mayonnaise (same for slaw).  The August edition of Food and Wine magazine had an interesting dish using potatoes and green beans.  Called a "salad," it really didn't seem like one to me since it was served hot and the vegetables were buttered (?), but liking the flavors used, I decided to make my own, one I felt comfortable calling a salad.  We had this with Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken, another of her recipes that has become a family favorite (we really like Ina, and yes, we also love the flavor of lemons!).  The only thing I would change in this recipe is to maybe whisk in a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard into the vinaigrette.   Please give this picnic friendly potato salad a try...

A note about that nifty green colander you'll see below...this Tupperware colander was my mom's and may quite possibly be as old as I am (gasp)...all I know is that this thing has always been around, and now it's mine.  This colander has been in weekly use since at least the early 70's, a testament to the durability of old Tupperware (don't think the same can be said for the new stuff).

Potato and Green Bean Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes
3/4 lb. fresh green beans
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup (tightly packed) finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced (1 tsp.)
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper

Prepare the vinaigrette first and let it sit on the counter while you prepare the rest of the salad.  In a medium sized serving bowl, combine the red onion, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic: season fairly generously with the salt and pepper before setting aside.

Scrub the potatoes, and leaving on the peel (I leave on the peel more often than not, even for mashed potatoes), cut into bite sized pieces; place into a pan of cold water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, 8 to 20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes well and toss in the serving bowl with the vinaigrette while still warm, this will help the flavors absorb into the potatoes.  Set aside to cool, tossing occasionally.  

Wash the green beans, snap the ends and then into bite sized pieces.  Place in a small microwave safe bowl, cover with a saucer, and cook on high for three minutes.  Remove immediately and rinse with cold tap water until no longer warm to the touch- this stops the cooking while setting the bright green color, and is a whole lot easier than that whole ice bath thing.

Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, toss in the green beans and serve.  If you are making this ahead and have refrigerated it, let it come to room temperature before serving.


  1. that looks great Mary.....I will definitely try that one when I make potato salad again

  2. On Facebook:
    Tracey said: My mom used to have that same colander! its definitely late 60's or early 70s..remember all the green and orange that was the thing back then? we had an avacado range and fridge in the fairfield dr appts! those were the days eh? Noone ever believes me when I tell them how many kids lived on that street. All i remember is leaving my house around 8am and playing ALLLL day only going home for bathroom trips and a quick lunch...and we played till dusk! fun times!
    July 28 at 10:11pm

    On Facebook:
    Casa En La Cocina said: Yes. there were lots of kids, and that's why thr school bus picked us up last, but dropped us off first...must have been a relief to the bus driver :)
    July 29 at 8:19am


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