During the first week of class in my Essentials of Cooking class, we learn about measurement as well as how to read a recipe. One would think that if you can read, you can read a recipe. One would be wrong.
Where do you find directions in a recipe? Most of my students initially believe it’s under the ingredients list. BUT THEY’RE WRONG. For instance, you find in the ingredients list, “1 c. nuts, chopped fine”. I ask you, what are you supposed to do with the nuts? CHOP THEM. That is a direction.
This salad would be a great test question for my students as there are MANY directions in the ingredients list. In fact, the most time consuming part of this recipe is actually the prep work! Chop the potatoes, trim and cut the green beans, slice the onion, peel the garlic, and de-leaf the rosemary. This is when it’s nice to have a TV in the kitchen; I was so focused on keeping up with Rory and Lorelai’s quick wit that the work was done in no time!
But honestly, this DOES come together very quickly, as long as it’s all working simultaneously. Get the potatoes in the oven, then bring the water to boil for the green beans. Next, slice the onions and place in water. Next, get your dressing ready. At this point, you’re essentially finished!
The need for this salad originated because a friend of mine was serving lasagna and salad, but wanted another side dish. It’s sort of an Italian style potato salad. Mayo grosses some people out AND can go bad in the heat, so this is an option that would be perfect for tailgates and picnics. It’s super tasty, you should make it. If you can’t find fresh rosemary, use 1/3 of the amount of dried (so 1 tbsp.).
Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad
Serves 8 to 10 as side dish
3 lb red skin baking potatoes (about 6 large), chopped into 1 to 2 in. chunks
2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces
1 small red onion (or 1/2 a large one), halved and sliced very thin lengthwise
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar*
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
*If you don’t have red wine vinegar, substitute 2 more tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 425. Put 1/3 olive oil on heavy rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for several minutes.
2. Remove baking sheet and place chopped potatoes in an even layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF SALT IN THIS RECIPE). Return to oven and set timer for 40 minutes. Stir potatoes every 15 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium to large saucepan filled 2/3 of the way up to boil (high heat, lid on). Add about 1-2 tsp. of salt to water.
4. Add beans and boil for about 3-5 minutes. While they boil, prepare a large bowl with cold water and plenty of ice. Drain beans in colander and put beans in bowl of ice water. This is called “blanching”. You are quick cooking the beans so that they are slightly tender but still pretty firm. The bowl of ice water “shocks” the beans and immediately stops the cooking so that they stay crisp and brightly colored.
5. Slice onions and place them in a bowl of ice water. The ice water takes away the sharp, onion-y flavors.
6. In a blender, blend vinegars, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, sugar, rosemary, and remaining 2/3 c. olive oil until smooth.
7. Dry onions and place in the bottom of a large serving bowl.
8. When potatoes are crisp, add them on top of the onions.
9. Dry beans and add to the potatoes and onions. Pour dressing on top and mix gently to combine.
10. Serve immediately. Salad is best served at room temperature, so if making ahead remove from fridge a few hours before serving.