Jul 5, 2013

French potato and string bean salad

The key to a successful potato salad is cook potatoes in advance, well in advance. Even if I over-cook the vegetable (it happens every time I use my pressure cooker), if I leave it alone for long enough, the potato will still come out firm and tasty.

The other day, I (over)cooked the potatoes at 8 am, went with my sister, her boy and my girl, to a swimming pool/sauna complex in a beautiful beach hotel. That's our raining day activity and since it had been raining for the third day in a row, we became quite regulars, courtesy of my older (not much) and richer (a lot more) sister. We start early, before the crowds join. Afterwards, we have two perfect cappuccinos and two cocoa drinks in the hotel bar or their rose garden. Life doesn't get much better than that. Then we come back to my apartment ready to eat. So that day, I was ready too. I like being ready.

All I or we had to do, was to clean and cook the beans and make the dressing. I found the recipe a long time ago browsing through Martha Stewart's site. I send the link to myself and was waiting for the right moment. I knew it would come, the recipe looked very good. The dressing lifted the dish to a level of French cuisine, even though I didn't have Dijon mustard nor sherry vinegar. I used Julian's favorite mustard (mild), lemon juice and I added summer beans. Kids liked it, adults liked it. It was exciting and different. Exactly what I wanted it!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
time: time to cook and cool potatoes + 20 minutes 

  • 1 kg (2 lbs) young potatoes, cooked in skins in salted water and cooled for at least 1 hour
  • 1/2 kg (1 lb) yellow string beans, both ends removed
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons your favorite mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste, optional

  1. Cut beans in bite-size (1 inch/2.5 cm) pieces and cook in a large pot of salted water for no more than 5 min (depending on a bean, so check). Drain immediately and cool them under running water. Set them aside.
  2. Cut cooled potatoes in four or eight, depending on the size. I like when they match the size of the beans. Place them in a large bowl. Add beans. Add parsley and green onions.
  3. Prepare dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk with a fork mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (if needed). Pour it into the bowl with vegetables. Gently mix and cover all the veggies in dressing. I use my hands. E voila!

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