10 July, 2018
Green Bean and Potato Salad – Italian Style
Summer season is salad season in our house. Salads just taste better in summer. You can’t get ingredients fresher than picking off the vine in a backyard garden or picking them up at a local farmer’s market. Even the vegetables in the local grocery stores seem to carry fresher veggies this time of year.
When most people think of potato salad, they think of the traditional salad smothered in mayonnaise and mixed with chopped onions and eggs. This potato salad is so different – there isn’t mayonnaise in this recipe at all. That’s what makes it great to take on picnics or bring to potluck get-togethers.
There are many versions of Italian green bean potato salad as you might imagine. The Neapolitan version typically uses white or wine vinegar. Here’s a link to that version: Neapolitan Green Bean and Potato Salad. Then there are recipes out there that don’t specify the type of vinegar to use such as this one from Cooks.com. And leave it to the Sicilians to leave out the vinegar entirely! Instead, they use anchovies, lemon, and capers to dress their salad. The Sicilian potato and green bean salad actually looked quite good and may end up in a future blog.
As with any recipe, use the ingredients you love most and experiment with new ones to stretch your culinary talents and tastebuds.
Wash and prep vegetables.
Cook potatoes to potato salad soft/firm. Par-boil green beans.
Chop vegetables to include in your potato salad. I used two types of onions, green and red.
Use good balsamic vinegar as dressing. I’m savoring the last bottle of vinegar I brought back from Modena, Italy, and it’s not even the “good” vinegar as it is labeled “condiment.” In Italy, the balsamic needs to be aged for more than 12 years to be considered a good vinegar. If you want to learn more about good balsamic vinegar from Modena, check out the prior post Balsamic Vinegar. And another post from a day we took a tour of a balsamic vinegar vineyard in Modena where they grow the grapes and make the vinegar Modena. Can you tell I’m passionate about balsamic vinegar? Mix vegetables together, season, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and you are done.
I made this salad prior to the sugar snap peas maturing in the garden, but would definitely add them in (and other vegetables from the garden as they ripen).
- 1 cup green beans, par-boiled and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 cups cooked potatoes (cut into bite-sized pieces and peeled)
- 1 medium-sized plump tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons onions, finely chopped (I used a mixture of red and white onions)
- Herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, parsley) If in season can use fresh herbs finely diced
- Generous dash of garlic herb salt
- a few dashes of onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Optional: drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Par-boil green beans and potatoes. Drain and cool.
- Cut up onions, herbs, and tomatoes. Set aside.
- Mix green beans and potatoes with tomatoes, onions and herbs.
- Sprinkle with herbs, onion powder, salts, and pepper. Mix well.
- Drizzle olive oil over mixture and blend.
- Optional: add a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
- Can be eaten warm or cold, your preference.
- Green beans and potatoes should be cooked through but firm.
- Other options to this recipe would be to add peppers such as chopped red bell pepper or pepperoncinis, Chopped celery could also be added. Be creative and add what you like.