Perhaps we’re rushing the summer season, but where’s the harm?
The other day we made favorite salads to accompany the grilled goodies.
I made Potato and Green Bean Salad, a Niçoise version. Beverly made creamy Cole Slaw with a nip provided by her secret ingredient: horseradish sauce.
One of the reasons I love the Potato and Green Bean Salad is its versatility. You can serve it chilled from the fridge or dressed while still warm from the stove. (You can find fresh green beans at your green market now. You can make the salad with frozen green beans that have been thawed, but fresh beans are so much better.)
There are a lot of versions of this salad, some of them using vinegar or balsamic or red vinegar. This version uses fresh lemon juice, and I think it’s superior. (You can also make a version of this with chunks of tuna that will serve as a main course, accompanied by some crusty bread and your favorite wine.)
The thyme leaves came from our herb garden.
POTATO AND GREEN BEAN SALAD
1/2 lb. fresh green beans
3 lbs. red potatoes, chopped to bite size with skins left on
3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 oz. (2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2-3 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 tablespoon capers
1 small red onion
Coarsely ground black pepper and coarse salt
Place the green beans in salted water in a sauce pan and simmer until they are cooked but still al dente. Transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to cool them quickly while retaining their bright green color. Once they’re cooled, drain them on a paper towel.
Don’t peel the potatoes, but use a paring knife to remove any blemishes and then chop them into bite-size pieces. Slice a small red onion and set aside.
Use the same salted water in the sauce pan to cook the potatoes until they’re tender, then drain them and set them aside.
In a large glass bowl, pour olive oil, fresh lemon juice and mustard, and add chopped thyme leaves. Use a whisk to emulsify. Add the beans, potatoes capers and onion to the mixture and, with a rubber spatula, mix everything together gently, ensuring that all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and a coarse salt.
Serve it right away or chill it and then toss it gently right before serving.
NEXT: Beverly’s horseradish-flavored cole slaw.
PHOTO: Potato and Green Bean Salad by BEVERLY M. ELANDER