With the heat-o-meter high up in the stratosphere these days, I’m always looking for ways to keep cool. Spending hours in a hot, steamy kitchen, churning out heavy meals is not my idea of a good time! This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of what the summer’s best produce has to offer, and eat lots of salads. But, I’m not just talking about a slab of iceberg lettuce here, folks. Why not take the opportunity to get a little creative and take your salads to the next level, like with this light and lovely Green Bean and Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette?
Crisp tender green beans, potatoes, sweet grape tomatoes and thin slivers of red onion are paired with a zesty vinaigrette, and accented with Dijon mustard, lemon, garlic, honey and fresh herbs. The dressing is enriched with hard-boiled egg yolks for a bit of richness without the health risks associated with raw yolks, making it an excellent menu choice for extreme temperatures.
Any kind of green or yellow string beans will work in this recipe. However, if you can find the slender, little French green beans, known as haricots verts, go with those. They’re delightfully crunchy and they cook in half the time as regular green beans. The same goes for the potatoes. I like to use those tiny, little Yukon gold potatoes. You can boil them whole and they’re done in ten minutes.
Of course, as with any dish, the end result is only as good as the ingredients you put into it. Make sure that all of your vegetables and herbs are super fresh, and please, please, please, people, use real Dijon mustard and the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford!
Paired with some succulent grilled meat or fish, this Green Bean and Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette makes a wonderful accompaniment to any meal, be it a picnic at the beach or dinner “al fresco” on your lanai.
Green Bean and Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 pound green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 pound mini Yukon Gold potatoes, washed
- 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 hard boiled egg yolks (Reserve the whites for another use,)
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large pot of salted water on to boil. When boiling, add potatoes and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside in a large salad bowl. Cut in half when cool enough to handle.
- In the same pot with boiling water, add the green beans and cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl filled with ice water until cooled, then add beans to bowl with potatoes. Add tomatoes, onions, parsley and tarragon set aside.
- Mash egg yolks and anchovy paste (if using) together in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, shallots, garlic, honey, lemon zest and juice and Dijon mustard until well blended. Slowly pour in olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing is slightly creamy and homogenized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss.
Serves 4 to 6.