Sunday, July 8, 2012

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Salsa Verde

When it comes to potato and pasta salads, I'll usually pick a vinegary version over a mayonnaise-based one. Perhaps it's because the mayonnaise-based versions tend to be fatty, bland concoctions, but it's most likely because acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc.) is one of my favorite ways to season a dish. I eat roasted vegetables like asparagus and broccoli with a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar on a regular basis, and I simply can't eat roasted potatoes without malt vinegar anymore. All that being said, this potato salad is right up my alley. Made more than just a starch bomb with the addition of a generous helping of green beans, this is the epitome of fresh summer flavor, packed with the bright flavors of herbs fresh from the garden and lemon juice. If any of the herbs listed isn't to your liking, throw in any fresh herbs you love or happen to have at home. (Since I am a cilantro devotee, I can already seeing another version of this potato salad hitting my plate sometime this summer.) The perfect accompaniment to the sirloin steaks I threw on the grill for  the 4th of July, this potato salad is boldly flavored enough to not get forgotten next to the main event of beautifully charred, medium-rare succulence. Sure to be a hit at any summer cookout where guests are willing to try something beyond the perfectly traditional, try out this recipe the next time you're looking to shake up the typical cook out menu.

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Salsa Verde
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced chives
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 pounds new potatoes (preferably red), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
Chive blossoms, for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil with the chives, parsley, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic and season with salt. Let the salsa verde stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes over moderately high heat until just tender, about 8 minutes; drain and return them to the saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and toss to coat. Season with salt.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until crisp-tender, 4 minutes; drain.

4. Return the beans to the pot and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt.
Add half of the salsa verde to the potatoes and half to the beans, stirring to coat. Transfer the beans to a serving bowl. Top with the potatoes, garnish with the chive blossoms and serve right away.

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