Not your every-day potato salad

In Recipies on June 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

This potato salad goes well with almost any meat dish.  I recently served it to Shabbat guests with grilled (Greek) marinated chicken breasts and a dollop of skordalia (skorthalia)…a garlicky condiment popular in Greece.  A really nice side-benefit to this potato salad is; you do not need to cook a separate vegetable side-dish!


Many Americans celebrate their Independence Day with a picnic or backyard barbeque. Potato salad typically accompanies barbeque or picnic foods as a cool and refreshing side dish.  And, most of the potato salad served stateside has a mayonnaise dressing.

Mayonnaise-based dressings are terrific with potatoes.  However, they must be carefully handled and transported or stored at 40-degrees (F) or less to prevent bacterial growth that may lead to food poisoning.

Peoples in parts of the world where refrigeration is a luxury or where the average refrigerator is about the size of a couple of all-in-one printer-scanners stacked together, use oil-based dressings.

Give your Independence Day guests a break from the everyday potato salad by trying this delightful potato and green bean salad dressed with a savory olive oil dressing.

Many chefs and cooks prefer to use Yukon Gold potatoes for potato salad.  They impart an inviting color to the salad and many cooks believe these potatoes hold together better than russets.

Phyne Dyners use what is at hand.  If you have Yukon Gold potatoes, go for it!  I have made this salad using enormous baking potatoes, small russets, and red-jacketed potatoes (un-peeled).  Russets and baking potatoes will hold together nicely, so long as you do not over-cook them.  The same can be said of red-jackets.  If you use russets/baking/red-jacket potatoes, monitor them carefully during cooking.  A fork should penetrate them with just a bit of pressure.  I tend to undercook mine, as I like potatoes in my salad to have a bit of firmness to the bite.

Do not peel the potatoes before cooking.  Just scrub them well and cut them in half if they are very large baking ‘taters’.

2 – 2 ½ lbs potatoes

2 small carrots, diced

8 oz fresh (or frozen) green beans

1 C diced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ C kalamata olives, cut in half and examined for pit fragments

1 C sun-dried tomatoes, cut in strips with oil reserved

3 TBS lemon juice

1/3 to ½ C extra virgin olive oil

2 TBS toasted pine nuts

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ C minced green (Greek, garlic packed) olives

¼ C loosely packed fresh mint, chopped

¼ C loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in 4-6qt cool water and heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to gentle boil and cook, uncovered 15-20 minutes (longer if potato halves are very large).  Remove from heat and drain hot water off and refill pot with cold water (several times).  When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks.

While the potatoes are cooling, simmer the green beans for 3-4 minutes in lightly salted water.  Then, add the diced carrot(s) and simmer 1-3 more minutes or until the carrots are tender (but not mushy).  (If you put a teaspoon of olive oil in the vegetable water, the carrots and beans will better retain their bright colors.)  Drain vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl with the potato chunks.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together.  If you are using oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, add their oil to this mixture.  Whisk in the garlic and cayenne pepper and season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Add the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, green olives, pine nuts, mint, and cilantro to the bowl and toss well.  Pour the finished dressing into the bowl and toss well, until everything is coated with dressing.

This salad may be served warm or at room temperature.  However, it should be stored for longer than service times at or below 40-degrees (F).



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