New Potatoes are such a treat in the summertime. They are small, freshly harvested potatoes, that have a natural sweetness, and hold their shape after cooking – making them a perfect potato to use in salads. For this easy side dish, I’ve lightened up a summer favourite, -the classic potato salad. A tangy lemon-dijon vinaigrette loaded with tons of fresh herbs make for a refreshing twist on the traditional mayo-based dressing. Plus, I’ve added some crunch with tons of green and yellow beans, fresh from my father-in-law’s garden!
Blanching the green beans is an essential step to help them keep their vibrant green hue. Simply boil water, add the green beans, boil for 2-4 minutes depending on their size, then submerge the green beans into an ice-bath (a large bowl filled with ice and some water). This “shocks” the green beans and stops the cooking process, sealing in the bright green colour and crunch. I also like to blanche broccoli whenever I make a broccoli salad or even when I assemble a veggie platter – everyone always asks how I got the broccoli to look so green, so now you know.
If you’ve been following my previous posts this tip will be a repeat. Whenever you make a grain, pasta, or potato salad, ALWAYS toss the starch with the dressing when the starch is still warm. This way, as the starch cools down it will absorb all the flavours, rather than just coating the outside.
New Potato Salad with Green Beans and Basil
Serves 6-8, as a side
2 lbs new potatoes, washed
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 green onions, sliced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook the new potatoes whole, for 12-15 minutes, or until a fork pierced into the potato comes out easily. Remove the potatoes from the water with a slotted spoon, and set aside to cool slightly – reserve the water to blanche the green beans.
2. Bring the water back up to a boil, then add the sliced green beans and cook for 2-4 minutes. Prepare the ice bath by combining ice and a bit of water in a large bowl. Test one of the beans at 2 minutes to see if it’s cooked to your liking, if not, continue to cook in one minute intervals. As soon as they are cooked, drain the beans in a colander, then quickly submerge into the ice bath. Once the beans are cold, strain the beans and set aside to dry.
3. While the potatoes are cooling, prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice/vinegar, dijon, garlic, and salt and pepper.
4. When the potatoes are cooled enough to handle, slice into rounds and toss with the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Add the green beans and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes.
5. Before serving, add the green onions, celery, basil, and parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.