Monday, September 7, 2009

French Potato Salad with Green Beans

It's rather ironic when you think about it. People associate creamy, rich foods with the French, and yet French potato salad is a much lighter version, with a vinaigrette rather than gobs of mayonnaise. It's the American potato salad that mustn't sit out in the sun too long for fear of food poisoning. So let's go with the French one, shall we?

Today we're going to a labor day bbq, and I knew before our hostess even asked us to bring something that I wanted to make a French potato salad. I decided to amp up the color factor (not to mention the nutrition) by adding in green beans, continuing with my I'm-in-love-with-green-beans-in-salads trend of this summer.

I love this particular combination of ingredients, because none of the flavors are too intense, yet no one can say this recipe lacks for flavor. The dressing is perfectly balanced, with not too much acid and not too much oil. Everything melds together to form a lovely picnic side dish.

French Potato Salad with Green Beans
adapted from Everyday Food
serves 4-6 as a side dish


1 1/4 pounds baby white or red potatoes, halved or quartered
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 red onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1. Place potatoes in a medium-large pot and cover by one inch with cold water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water.

2. Meanwhile, bring another, small pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add green beans and blanch for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

3. While both pots are boiling away, make the dressing: in a large bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, vinegar, onion, parsley, and thyme. Taste it, and season with salt if desired. (I didn't find that it needed it). Add potatoes and green beans and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.


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