Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans

I just spent 3 weeks in Truro. With so much free time on my hands, I certainly had to do some cooking. It’s always fun to play in non-nyc kitchens. It’s also nice to cook with such fresh ingredients and it doesn’t hurt when your family is impressed no matter what you do! Here is recipe number one…

Summer barbecues often seem synonymous with boring potato salad. Yuck. I hate mayo and therefore most potato salads. When I came across this recipe for Pesto Potato Salad on Smitten Kitchen described as “just perfect for the mayo-phobic” it was very intriguing. Pesto, green beans, scallions, pine nut, cheese… what could be bad? Now, if you really want the potato salad to be delicious bring it to the beach for dinner like we did… eating dinner while the sun sets over the water makes any meal better.

Happy summer cooking!

  • 4 pounds small Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments
  • 1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons (or more to taste) mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions:Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook 4 minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, discard the stems from the basil and wash and dry the leaves. Puree them in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.

Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, green onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some wide flecks of Parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler.

Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.

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