Green-beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is such a simple recipe, you will probably memorize it after making it once or twice. But I have found myself making it a lot lately, now that fresh vegetables are in season and abundant. A simple preparation highlights the deliciousness of really fresh green beans, and it goes with everything. This salad tastes good warm or after sitting in the fridge for a day or two. It serves four.
Trim the ends off ½ pound green beans, and snap them in half if the beans are long. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil just until tender. Drain and spread out on a plate to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 small minced shallot, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing gently with the green beans. Garnish with basil or parsley.
Of course, you could make this salad more hearty by adding another vegetable to it. Boiled new potatoes, roasted red peppers or cherry tomatoes are all traditionally tasty accompaniments to green beans.
This formula will work with almost any green vegetable, so if you don’t have green beans, don’t let that stop you. Try this with broccoli, spinach, kale or whatever you have to hand. Summer is such a wonderful time for eating your vegetables.
I know, summer is almost over. You don’t have to tell me. But we have one more holiday weekend, which means we can have one more barbecue, which means we can make one more potato salad. Hooray!
This is my absolute favorite potato salad recipe. It tastes much like the beloved Southern-style potato salad my grandma used to make, complete with hard-boiled eggs. Yet it is very amenable to adaptations, depending on what you have on hand to throw into it. (Bacon is always a good choice.) I think the essential ingredient that makes it so tasty is the vinegar. The warm potatoes are tossed with the vinegar before being dressed, so they have some time to absorb its flavor. This gives the salad a tang that contrasts nicely with the creamy mayonnaise dressing.
The original recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated‘s The New Best Recipe, but as I say, it is a classic and belongs in your recipe notebook. Feel free to substitute freely.
American Potato Salad
From The New Best Recipe. Yields 4-6 servings.
- 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6 medium or 18 small), scrubbed
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice, or 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 medium celery rib, minced (about ½ cup)
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- ¼ cup sweet pickles, minced
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
Cover the potatoes with 1 inch water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes for medium potatoes or 15 to 20 minutes for small potatoes.
Drain; cool the potatoes slightly and peel if you like (I rarely bother). Cut the potatoes into cubes while still warm.
In a large bowl, add the potatoes, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and toss gently. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
Toss the potatoes with the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.