Thursday, August 18, 2011

potato salad with green beans and herbs

By Julie

I love potatoes. I would happily eat them at every meal. Much like my affinity for eggs, softly scrambled in lots of butter. My absolute favorite way to eat them is oven fries (well, french fries, but I really do try to steer clear). And not low fat oven fries. Joe's the oven fry master and loads up the oil in the baking pans and they get so crispy and wonderful. But this recipe isn't oven fries. It's potato salad. Another wonderful potato concoction. You really can't go wrong. Homemade mayonnaise, crisp vegetables, mushy potatoes (but not too too mushy), and and ooh some salty cheese? Yes please!

Back in Brookline, Mass., Joe and I would go on picnics a lot at Larz Anderson Park. Definitely one of my favorite places ever. When the air temperature was stifling and you could chomp on the humidity, we would go to the top of this hill, where the Anderson estate "Weld" used to be before it got torn down mid-century, and be the highest thing around and get some wonderful breeze. Plus, there's a lovely view of downtown Boston. Below are some pictures of that perfect park. You can see some of the architectural remnants that are scattered throughout where the estate was. We haven't really done the picnic thing here in Denver. It's one of my goals for this summer (lofty, I know). I think this potato salad will find a place in our grocery bag picnic basket.

I was rather ravenous when I made this potato salad the other day. In my haste to shovel food in my mouth, I forgot to slice up radishes to go in the salad. DON'T YOU DO THAT. They're great in this. And since you can get a big bunch of local radishes for like 50¢, even more reason to put them in. And if you're feeling chop-happy, put some other vegetables in too. Bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber. I've also made potato salad halfsies with sweet potatoes, and that's real good.

Homemade mayonnaise again, you say? Yup, and it's time you get good at making it. I wish that I had more on hand, but it goes so fast. Which is kind of gross thinking about how much oil I can consume when in mayo form. 1 whole cup? No proooobbbb! Yeah, maybe it's better that I don't always have a jar of it.

potato salad with green beans and herbs

4 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup dill, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2-3 cups green beans, ends trimmed and snapped into 1 inch pieces
ricotta salata

1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 cup light olive oil

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise. Whisk the egg yolk, salt, mustard powder, and vinegar/lemon juice together. Drip by drip, add the oil until the mixture is thickening. Then you may drizzle the oil in a steady, thin stream, whisking the whole time until all of it is incorporated. You can hand whisk or use a hand held blender with a whisk attachment. I like the hand whisk.

3. Chop up the veggies (minus the green beans) and herbs and add to a big bowl.

4. When the potatoes are done, drain and add to the big bowl. In that same pot, add some more salted water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for just a couple minutes, until bright green. Drain and run some cold water over them to stop them from cooking. Add to the bowl.

5. Toss the veggies, herbs, potatoes, and green beans and let the mixture cool a bit. Add mayo to your liking and salt and pepper to taste.

Top your potato salad with some shaved ricotta salata. Or a lot. I usually take the headline picture for each blog post and then add a whole bunch more helpings, cheese, or butter. I at least like to make it look like I'm very moderate and sensible with my meals. But I'm not.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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