13 September 2011

Recipe: Potato & Green Bean Salad

Today I'm sharing a recipe for a Potato and Green Bean Salad which I made last week. I developed a love for this type of salad during the year I spent in France back in college. I first tried a similar recipe when some friends and I took an extended trip to the south of France where the simple style of cooking relies heavily on fresh ingredients. This is one of those recipes which (like meatloaf in Iowa) seems to vary by household. Add tuna and it becomes a version of a Salade Nicoise.

I put together this salad based on a recipe from Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard (a great read, by the way). I added a few ingredients based on what I had on hand (listed below the recipe). If you're looking for a simple one-dish meal which gets even better after a day or two in the fridge, this one's for you!
Potato and Green Bean Salad
Adapted from Lunch in Paris **

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cut extra-virgin olive oil or more to taste
1.5 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 pound green beans, blanched
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup tiny black Nicoise olives

Combine the first 6 ingredients for the vinaigrette in a glass jar or container. Shake to combine. You can make the vinaigrette several days in advance.

Place the potatoes in a pot of highly salted cold water, bring to boil, and cook until tender.

Trim the beans and blanch in lightly salted water for 3-4 minutes. They should remain bright green and retain their snap. Drain and rinse under cold water; pat dry with a paper towel.

Drain the potatoes. While they are still warm, place them in a large bowl with the onion, parsley, thyme, olives, and green beans. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Leave in the fridge for an hour so that the flavors have a chance to blend. This salad is best served at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
** The original recipe includes pastis or anisette, a licorice flavor. I'm not a fan of licorice, so I left it out and added the following ingredients, commonly found in a Salade Nicoise, a traditional dish from the south of France:

Two packages of white tuna, drained
 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), green olives and capers -- had a half jar of each in the fridge so added them in

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread. Dinner doesn't get much better than this, in my opinion!

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